At Our God Given Mission, we take Missions very seriously. Our mission is to help young people discover Jesus and to empower them to make Jesus known. As part of this, every year, we take multiple groups of people on Mission. From the 28th of October to the 1st of November 2021, we took a group of young people over on a missionary trip to Tenerife. Beforehand we trained on ZOOM, completed an evangelism course and met for the first time at the airport for the trip. We saw amazing things happen in Tenerife and we are excited to share with you some snippets of the kind of things that happened.
Words by Temi Oluwadare
We arrived at Tenerife very early in the day. Our first goal was to leave the airport and pick up the bus we would be using to get around. This first stop was Fasina, in the more remote parts of the Island! Honestly, for me the drive was a bit wild – but the accommodation there was on some beautiful mountains away from the busyness of the Tenerife strip.
Once we arrived at the halfway house in Fasina, we were able to spend some time with John and Natasha who run a halfway house for those nurturing a relationship with Jesus after facing hardship. After this, we relocated to our accommodation nearer to the strip. Along the way to our new accommodation, we stopped in Lidl to pick up some key essentials!! Lots of snacks, pasta, breakfasts and a vast amount of juice. The plan was that this food would keep us going throughout the week.
After we arrived at our accommodation and we had all settled in. We went to El Cordero for a late lunch/early dinner. The atmosphere was lovely and this was the first time that we could all sit together as a team and begin getting to know each other. We used this space to discuss our personal lives, what we do and more. I loved this time because it was great for us to start building relationships. After we ate, we went to explore the strip, Las Americas – there were countless nightclubs and bars. It was exciting for us to see where we would be going to minister to people. I think at this point, we were all quite excited. After this, we went back to our apartment to have a Bible study. The study looked at ‘the ability to stay hot’ and we explored the dangers of familiarity and how it could hinder us from learning from people around us.
After this study, we continued to learn more about each other. We played a game that encouraged us to consider 3 items that summarise us well. But also a song game where we all shared our favourite songs and had to guess who’s song was whose. I loved this day because it set the tone so well of what the week would look like. Love, laughter & Jesus.
Words by Oladipupo Joseph
The 2nd day of the retreat was possibly the most packed day. We were able to sleep earlier the previous night, so we got ready to go for our first prayer walk at 9 am. By God’s grace, our accommodation was close to a beach of sorts which was perfect for reflection and prayer. I really enjoyed the walk there; the open air and lovely weather encouraged the group’s conversations as we got to know each other before we separated to speak to God and it marked the beginning of a day filled with His Presence.
Afterwards, we got back home to have our showers and eat breakfast. Temi and Deborah handled most of the cooking which was truly kind of them. Tenerife has a lot of mountains which are honestly so beautiful to behold. As we stepped out of the house, climbing one of these was our first destination. We first got drinks from a nearby shop and made our way up the mountain. It wasn’t too steep and took us probably about 20-30 minutes to get to the top and remained there for about the same period. I remember the view made me feel so grateful and my problems so small. It was impossible to not admire the beauty of creation and feel at one with everything, I won’t forget that anytime soon.
We climbed down the mountain and walked down to the van to head to our next destination Golf del Sur. The experience here was more of a continuation of the beach. We were closer to the ocean as well with there being a large beach nearby so we could clearly see the flow and harmony it possessed even as it crashed into the sculpted rocks by the shore. Unfortunately, we could not go on the beach, but it was a worthwhile experience, nonetheless. We then headed to the strip to survey and acquaint ourselves with the area.
We journeyed back home afterwards to get some rest in preparation to go evangelise at night-time. I think we played a game or two but mostly talked and read books. After we regained some energy, we prayed and set out to the strip for the first time. We separated into pairs with a boy and girl- with Trudi and me at the front. Looking back, we must have looked like soldiers setting forth in some battle formation. At first, I had feelings of hesitance mixed with excitement as we approached the first person we spoke to. However, that night was one of the best I have ever had.
I got to meet and speak to so many different people, who engaged us in different ways and although some conversations felt more fruitful than others, I had a general sense of dropping seeds after we left each one. As we met up at the end of the night to debrief and share our experiences, I experienced even more beautiful conversations that the rest of our group had. We then prayed for them all and prepared for bed. However, we ended up playing games till about 5 am and honestly, I would not have minded that day going on forever.
Words by Deborah Brown
After a Friday night of intense competitive games (post evangelism), we reconvened in the morning early as usual. We were reminded of the life of discipleship that we were committed to; being submissive in learning from our Lord Jesus and from the more mature in the faith. We were also reminded of our due diligence to offer that same discipleship to others – being poured out as a drink offering.
All that before lunch! Together, we enjoyed the European delicacy spaghetti bolognese courtesy of the amazing Tems and Trudi (who thankfully spotted that the supposed bottle chilli actually said ‘food colouring’). This was followed by a calming walk to the beach, a semi-dip in the sea and yet another game of Mafia (with unsurprisingly zealous participants).
Then came another Bible Study session on the 86% Christian – who, by the way, doesn’t actually exist!!! There is no such thing! We go all in! Nothing but 100% is acceptable! We’re also encouraged by the fact that this 100% Christlike living is by His grace. Grace through faith – the same faith by which we are saved. We live our lives committed to Him, dependent on Him.
With this in our hearts and minds we set out back to the streets of Tenerife that night preaching the Good News of Christ to people – one having no plan and no way forward for his life; another being stuck in a rut feeling like he wants to commit to Jesus but thinking he won’t be able to give 100% and will go back to the world; and another seemingly knowledgeable but oh so confused. We preached the Gospel to such as these, and continue in prayer for their hearts and souls to come Him, knowing that whom the Son sets free is truly free indeed.
Words by Trudi Auletta
We woke up early on Sunday morning for our last full day in Tenerife – we began, like other mornings, with a prayer walk, before coming back and getting ready for Church!
We had the privilege of participating in the service at the Tenerife Family Church – with myself (Trudi) being able to share my testimony of coming to faith and a bit about the encounters we had so far during our time in Tenerife, and M.T delivering the sermon on the topic of ‘How To Change The World’. The members of the church were very hospitable towards us and it was lovely to speak to some of them about their experiences in ministry and missions.
Before we went out evangelising on the strip, we visited The Living Room – a supportive drop-in centre that “support people, listen to people, share testimonies with people and often pray with people”, run by Rachel from the Tenerife Family Church and located on the strip. Rachel shared some inspiring stories that she has witnessed in her 12 years as a missionary in Tenerife and gave us some exciting insight into the future of The Living Room. We chilled together, prayed together, grabbed some dinner, and then we finally went out onto the strip one last time.
Our final evening of evangelising continued to be fruitful just like the rest of the nights, as we were able to proclaim the good news to many people! It was particularly interesting as this night happened to fall on Halloween. There was once again lots of unique encounters and conversations that were held and we are trusting God to continue His work in all of those individuals.
Once we headed home, we prayed for all of the interactions and thanked God for His faithfulness during the trip, and prepared for our departure the following morning. (Preparation may or may not have involved a few more rounds of mafia).
Words by Daniel Atere
As a group we knew there was only one way to start this day….at 1 am playing mafia. Once again for the fourth time, Deborah and Ladi were mafia’s but we all knew it was Deborah’s tactic that won the game. After many “one more games” we went to bed to take a quick nap to be up for 7 am. This wasn’t going to be an ordinary morning though, as Nana made the decision to get baptised as a public declaration of his faith and his obedience to God’s command in the Bible. We first walked down to the beach to do our morning prayer, we thanked God for all He had done on this trip and what He is yet to do.
Before Michael and I baptised Nana, we all had to adjust to the waters temperature step by step until the water got up to our waist, we prayed for Nana and baptised him. It was a wonderful experience as Nana came out of the water, just the knowledge that a new and wonderful life is ahead of him is something we were all joyful about. When we go back home, we were in good time to pack the rest of our things, shower and have breakfast and of course, one more game of cheat (which Nana won, clearly because of the baptism). After, we had to get the airport time to make sure there weren’t any issues with documentation and all of that. Now, I hadn’t yet done my lateral flow test to get my certificate to fly but I was sure the results will come out negative so before arriving at the airport I was as calm.
When I did the test, we all went through security and waited for the results. As I opened the e-mail I was sure it was negative so you can imagine my disappointment when I saw positive, my chest was beating, palm-sweating but I held on the God’s promise to get me back with negative results. As I told the others, there was suddenly a realisation that I could be here for another week or so. I went back out through security and attempted to take another test at the same place but the ladies there were not having it because of the company policy of only doing the test once. I asked around the airport and no one had any other alternative apart from doing another test. Mike made a few calls and in a matter of minutes Neil a guy from the local church was there to help me.
We first drove back to his house and I met his lovely family, and the way they embraced me as if they were also sure that my results were negative was mind-blowing. I thought they would have wanted me to keep my mask on and stay in a corner but no, the first thing they asked me to do was to remove my mask and assure me everything will be fine. After making a few calls, Neil found a local clinic that was still open, before we went his wife prayed for me and prayed that the test will come back negative and because God is faithful to these promises the result did come back negative. I got my certificate to fly and booked a direct flight to London leaving that evening. This whole trip, especially the start and the finish taught me that if God says He’ll do something, He will do it, maybe not how we envision it or when we expect it but He will do it. KB a Christian rapper once said to “write your plans in pencil and allow God to write his in pen”, more than ever before I’m learning to trust God’s word and allow His say to be the final say, and even when I feel fear, I’ll still do it in faith anyways. This whole trip has been a whole experience and the people that I went with were absolutely amazing and I wouldn’t have had it any other way!
Are you going to go on mission?
Jesus’ instruction was simple and clear. When He was leaving the earth to be with the Father, He gave us the Great Commission. He commanded us all to preach the Gospel and to make disciples of all nations. Whether you do this in a different country or at your workplace, or in your family, that’s for you to work out. However, the command is non-negotiable. It’s for all.
If you are interested in coming on future mission trips then please email firstname.lastname@example.org and express your interest. Our next mission trip will be in the second quarter of 2022. Looking forward to seeing you there.