On my recent mission trip to Bennington, Vt., I saw God work in miraculous ways, and it took almost no time at all.
Our mission team worked alongside Summit Church, and the congregation’s collegiate director repeatedly reminded us to pray before we acted. Throughout the week, we saw just what the power of prayer could do.
Our first day after arrival, we went to Rutland to help with the preview service of a new congregation, Rutland City Church. On our way and even after we arrived, we prayed for God to move and for people to show up. About 65 people attended the service, and five accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, which is huge for any church in Vermont. According to the collegiate director, Lauren Cartwright, only about 30 people typically show up for this kind of event.
A couple of days later, we took a tour of Southern Vermont College and ate lunch in the dining hall. By this point, Lauren had not come in contact with one believer on this campus. While we were there, we had conversations with many students. At least four professed to be believers and said they wanted to get plugged into some sort of college ministry. So, we introduced them to Lauren. One student came to the game night the following evening.
A few days later, we set up at a music shop and played live music. While some people did that, three groups rotated between prayer-walking, staying in the store, and setting up witnessing cards at a coffee shop. That night we had two really huge conversations. One was with a guy named Andrew who said he had grown up Christian but now doesn’t believe in God.
Later, I had a conversation with a guy named Steve. I don’t remember a lot of what I had said to him. I just know I prayed for the Lord’s help, and that is what I got. I found out he grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness and had been baptized. But since he started smoking pot and having relations with women outside of marriage, he was kicked out of his house and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. He still goes to the worship services, but no one is allowed to talk to him.
We talked about forgiveness and how Jesus forgives us no matter what we have done. Later on in the conversation, I asked him what he thought it meant to be saved or to follow Christ. His answer was being honest with yourself and everyone else around you. So, I talked to him about what it truly means to have a relationship with and to follow Christ.
There are other wonderful things that happened in Vermont, and it was obvious God was moving every step of the way and in every conversation. At the end of the trip, Lauren told our group that she had seen more spiritual activity in those 10 days than in the five months she has been there.
Jenifer Wilkes, a student at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, served with Go Now Missions in Vermont.