An amazing opportunity has opened up in my life for this upcoming summer. I will be spending two months in Tacoma, Washington at Soma Immerse with Pastor Jeff Vanderstelt and his disciples! It is truly a blessing to have this opportunity and I am looking forward to growing and learning through being a part of Immerse.

The vision of Immerse is to raise young people up, with the Gospel of Jesus at the center, to be equipped and sent to go and make disciples in their cities and universities through Gospel-Centered communities on mission. In other words, Immerse primarily focuses on Missional Communities. The whole point of Missional Communities is to form relationships with people who are different than you are (such as having varying beliefs, personalities, etc.). Missional Communities are all about making people feel loved and valued as Jesus loves and values them. As people who know Jesus begin to pursue and form relationships with people who do not know Him, they simply serve them and take time to get to know them with the Gospel at the center. A wise mentor of mine always says that “Relationships are the currency of the Kingdom” and so it is through relationships that true depth can take place. As this depth happens, the individual who does not know Jesus will begin to open up, ask questions, and then the truth of the Gospel is shared. This is how discipleship takes place in a Missional Community setting. This is the primary training that takes place at Immerse. Their primary goal is to teach young people how to practically make Missional Communities happen in their city. Currently, I am a student leader with Indiana State University Chi Alpha Campus Ministries and Missional Communities have recently become a HUGE part of our ministry. Thus, the knowledge I would be learning about Missional Communities at Immerse would not just impact my personal life but I will have the opportunity to bring the things I learn back to Indiana. I pray that through the things I learn, our ministry will have the opportunity to grow and learn as we are going in the direction that God is calling us to go with Missional Communities.

Due to the fact that Immerse is a Gospel-Centered program, they take time to emphasize on the Gospel. They will be challenging me with questions such as “What is the Gospel? How does the Gospel impact your story? How can you live the Gospel day to day and in everything you do?” Through that, Immerse staff trains the young people one-on-one according to their personal strengths, weaknesses, passions, and goals. I believe this will be very impactful for my growth and my future in ministry.  

Though I have been accepted to the program already, my next step of faith will be raising the budget needed to get there. Overall, the program itself costs $1,600 and then personal traveling expenses will be approximately $600 and then an additional couple hundred will be needed for other expenses. I need all of the funds by May 1, 2015. If you feel like God is calling you to help financially in this next step in my life, that would be a blessing and any amount helps! However, more than that, prayers for these upcoming steps will be much needed.
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Maddy Mishler
Terre Haute, IN

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