Central States Conference ventured on its first mission trip to the United Kingdom in July with a group of 30 individuals. The iServe movement encourages and facilitates service among our youth and young adults. This consists of organized service projects locally and internationally.

The 12-day once in a lifetime experience was spearheaded by Kory Paul Douglas. The goal was to create an opportunity for Central States youth and young adults  to give their time, talent, and heart serving others and bringing the gospel to Europe. Not only did the trip include mission, but there was plenty of sightseeing and fun along the way.

Here is a collection of photos and lessons from those who participated in the journey.

Day 1 – Depart for London

The iServe Mission UK18 Trip, our first international mission trip, was an absolute success. While we did not go to a “third world country” to participate in the usual mission activities, the trip gave our youth and young adults an opportunity to visit and serve in places they would not have otherwise gone. It also gave them the opportunity to interact with youth and young adults from another part of the world and to get a taste of their hunger for God. With this trip, we have established what we believe is a good foundation for future mission trips. By God’s grace, we will be in a different  location each summer lending our time and talent to the cause of Christ. ~Kory Paul Douglas

Day 2 – Arrive in London and sightsee, including the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

The trip was simply unreal. I kept thinking “I’m going to wake up and this is all going to be a dream.” Thank goodness it wasn’t. I loved the whole trip but the last day when we were at the church was the most fun. All of us just singing together and not really caring how we looked or who was watching is exactly how I think it should be when we are at church. When we were at the hotel in Paris and just singing as people passed, that was also how I think it should be. I think we actually got through to people that day. I also loved exploring photography because I have been considering that for my future and actually doing it was just helpful. I got to see so much and I’ll never forget it. ~Reaia Turner

Day 3 – Local missions in London, community service, gardening, nursing home

Day 4 – London – Explore the city, local shopping

Never take anything for granted such as air conditioning, ice, salt, unlimited soft drinks. We are so accustomed to America and all we have to offer but once outside of our comfort zone it took some adjusting. ~Shamone Green

Day 5 – Sabbath in London, local missions, concert and group recreation

This experience forced us to take on another lifestyle. I appreciate everything I have now after being without it for two weeks. ~Alex Johnson

Day 6 – Travel to Paris by train

Though we have a lot of churches, we are secular. We do not believe in God. We do not believe in Jesus. We do not believe in the Bible. We do not allow the construction of churches anymore. ~tour guide

Day 7 – Paris and the Louvre

When locked in the Louvre, do not go out the door that they instruct you to… It’s a trap! ~Donnette Roston

Day 8 – Paris – Eiffel Tower, “City of Lights”

Find light in every situation. My favorite part was gaining new family. When you’re sort of stuck together, you feed off of everyone’s traits and learn who you are as a person as well. This was truly a growth period for me and I loved every second of it. ~Gabrielle Randall

Day 9 – Traveling from Paris to Reading

Communication in Paris was really hard for me. I learned to be very patient. ~Hadiya Jasmine

Day 10 – Local missions

Our church building is a former snooker (billiards) hall. Our congregation of 350-400—including about 120 young people—is worshiping at a school during our church renovations, which we hope to complete before the end of the year. ~Maxwell (youth pastor at Reading Ghana Seventh-day Adventist Church)

Day 11 – Sabbath in Reading, worship at Parkside Church

Pastor Douglas preached a message with the theme “Pressure bursts pipes.” He emphasized that there is a higher calling that your parents can’t give you. “We ought to keep on pressing.”

Day 12 – Depart for London, return Home

How might God use you if you took a step of faith to engage with His mission somewhere in the world?