‘- by Irene Campos

Witnesses of the Lord’s Work
In 2014, the Viña del Señor community in El Mochito, Honduras was going through difficult times. The community had been initially formed by families with small children but these children had grown and there was no youth group for them. That year, a group of young people from other communities of the zone arrived to Viña del Señor as a part of the Summer in Mission. The group of missionaries organized a Life in the Spirit Seminar and laid the foundations for a University Outreach. During the next two years this group continued to grow until, in 2016, two of its members took part in the Summer in Mission. With the experience learnt there, they returned to El Mochito to liven up the outreach. In four years, the youth group of Viña del Señor went from having no members to sixty two!

The Youth Group at Viña del Señor

Stories like this one show the imprint left by the Summer in Mission in the Central Zone of the Ibero-American Region of the Sword of the Spirit. There are countless conversion testimonies during the events of Summer in Mission, especially in smaller communities Fuente de Vida in Costa Rica, Pequeña Israel in Nicaragua and Viña del Señor in Honduras. It is no surprise that in the last four years the number of participants in the Summer in Mission has increased from 84 in 2014 to 99 this year.

Meal time during the Formation Weeks

What is the Summer in Mission?
Summer in Mission is a Kairos program in the Ibero-American region of the Sword of the Spirit. It gather young people from the communities of the zone for training and formation for two weeks and then send them in teams (called squadrons) to the different communities of the region to serve for another three weeks

Summer in Mission has various objectives: give the young people an opportunity to grow in service, let the communities from the region know each other and consolidate que community culture of the Sword of the Spirit. However, the main objective of the Summer in Mission is to provide a comprehensive formation to the youth of the Sword of the Spirit by focusing on spiritual, human, physical and emotional learning.

During the first weeks of training, participants have to wake up at six o’clock to exercise for 90 minutes.

The Guatemala Squadron at work

They also receive teaching on service and leadership, that they put into practice by doing the dishes, cleaning, leader prayer times and other activities.

Service formation is complemented with intellectual formation through readings and talks. This year’s Summer in Mission innovated by giving a course called “Foundations of a Solid Mind” that seeks to challenge young people to strengthen their mind in the Revealed Truth and, thus, resist the secular attack of these days.

The Cañas-Guápiles Squadron, in Costa Rica

In the end, the main strength of Summer in Mission is the spiritual formation of the missionaries. During the whole program they are encouraged to pray, read the bible and meditate. The idea is that young people finish the program with a deeper and stronger relationship with the Lord.

Once the training is over, the squadrons leave the retreat center and leave to the communities. During the three mission weeks each host community assigns them the activities to fulfill. It is common for squadrons to organize children’s events, young people’s events, conversion retreats for university students and social service. However, the most important mission of the squadrons is to get to know the families and share with people; in other words: to live Sword of the Spirit community.

God has no limits
I had the opportunity to participate in Summer in Mission 2018 and I can witness to the conversion stories, the fruit of this program in the Central-American zone, the comprehensive formation and of the community life in the Sword of the Spirit. It was in this Summer in Mission that I saw God’s hand in the young people’s passion, the guidance by the Servants of the Word, in faith and hospitality of our host community, but most of all in me. The Summer in Mission was the event the Lord used to show me that his power has no limits, that he is capable of taking a group from zero to sixty two and he can do it all in me, if I let him.

Irene Campos is a member of the Árbol de Vida community in San José, Costa Rica and one of the participants at Summer in Mission 2018 of the Central Zone of  Kairós Iberoamérica. Photos taken from the Kairós Zona Centro Facebook page

Irene Campos (third from left to right on the front row) with her squadron that served in Masaya and Carazo, Nicaragua.