The Missions Team of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention recently partnered with the churches of the Little Red River Association to bring 226 students from 20 different Baptist churches together for CONNECT 2023.
CONNECT is a student missions weekend designed to mobilize and equip students to make disciples as they serve others and share the gospel.
Heber Springs Baptist Church served as the host site for the April 14–16 weekend. Participants slept on the floor in Sunday School rooms and in the gym area. The church also provided space for meals, worship and evangelism training.
Disaster Relief teams from Ozark, Monticello and Mt. Zion provided the shower trailers and the meals on that Saturday morning and Saturday night.
Pastor Rondal Richardson, the entire staff and many of the members of Heber Springs Baptist served during the weekend.
“CONNECT was a great opportunity for our church to be a part of getting youth to be missionaries for the Lord and learn how to minister to others,” Richardson said. “Our community and our church benefitted from it not only physically but mainly spiritually.”
Serving others, sharing the gospel
Nine churches from the Little Red River Association provided ministry projects for the weekend.
Students served all day Saturday packing food for the hungry, doing yard work for the elderly and others in need, building a deck, witnessing door to door, building playground equipment, prayer walking, painting, canvassing, deep cleaning a day care facility and much more. In all, close to 40 projects were compiled for the day.
More importantly, the gospel was shared more than 100 times as students were trained and challenged to share with as many people as possible that day.
For many, this was their first time to ever share the gospel. At least one salvation was reported for the weekend with several students committing their lives to full-time missions and/or ministry.