Brooklyn Smith (holding child) worked with a Nehemiah Team in Uganda.
By Stephanie Heading, managing editor
“After the shutdown in 2020, I knew that I wanted to do more to reach the nations and live up to the Great Commission,” said Brooklyn Smith, member of FBC Grove City.
“I did a lot of research and sought wisdom from my local church. One of my pastors pointed me to the IMB and that is where I found Nehemiah Teams” (NT).
Nehemiah Teams is an 8-week summer mission opportunity for students ages 17-29 which strategically involves them in cross-cultural missions among unreached people groups. As a program of the International Mission Board (IMB), NT partners with IMB personnel and other global Christians, connecting with state conventions, local Southern Baptist associations, and churches to reach the unreached and hard to reach.
After finding NT, Smith continued her research trying to decide which mission project would be best for her. “After looking over the 300 plus mission opportunities on the IMB website, I knew that I couldn’t leave it to myself to choose where I was being called,” she noted. “I began to pray and seek even more wisdom and guidance from those around me and landed on an NT trip to Uganda!”
The Holy Spirit broke my heart for this opportunity and refugee people groups
Smith spent eight weeks in the Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement in Uganda in 2021 celebrating her 23rd birthday while serving there. “The Holy Spirit broke my heart for this opportunity and refugee people groups.”
Throughout its history NT’s goal has been to equip and send this student generation to take the gospel to unreached peoples and places. Over the past 15 years, Nehemiah Teams have trained and sent out more than 3,300 American and Filipino students to share the gospel throughout Southeast Asia and around the world. . As the IMB notes, “Today’s students are tomorrow’s career missionary force.”
As one of those students trained through NT, Smith learned more about herself, God, and lostness in the world. “My NT trip has grown me, fueled me, and taught me that I am capable of the uncomfortable,”
Smith said. “It showed me that we do not need American comforts and securities to survive or serve well.”
Smith believes God used her trip to Uganda to give her a heart for reaching the lost. “God used this trip to empower me to go again and again and again. The trip broke me down and left me empty so that God could humble me before his creation and so he would fill me with what he needed me to hold so that I could do it all again for his glory.”
The lostness of the world also became evident to Smith during her trip to Uganda. “The trip showed me how dark the world can be but how the joy, provision, and love of Christ will truly overcome in the end.”
There is no place like a mission trip to surrender every aspect of your life to Christ and see how He is going to work
Since her time with NT, Smith has been on additional mission trips with FBC Grove City traveling twice to Mexico as well as trips to Jamaica and Salt Lake City, Utah. She encourages students ages 17–29 to consider joining NT. “There is no place like a mission trip to surrender every aspect of your life to Christ and see how He is going to work.”
In 2024 NT will be sending teams to Africa, Indonesia, North America, Philippines, South Asia, Southeast Asia, South Korea, South Pacific, and Thailand. For more information about Nehemiah Teams, visit www.nehemiahteams.com.