A Faith of Their Own

Posted by Storytellers on 01-Aug-2015 in

A Faith of Their Own
GEM-K is a part of Greater Europe Mission's member care, a team of people who counsel and encourage GEM field workers and their children.
A faith of their own
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One of the biggest challenges for missionary kids living abroad is learning to settle into a new life and culture.

GEM-K, a part of greater Europe Mission's member care, works in Europe by encouraging, discipling and mentoring the kids of GEM missionaries (ages 12-18).

Micah and Andrea Heath, who were missionary kids growing up, joined Greater Europe Mission in 2009. Their stories and personal experience prepared them for their work with GEM-K.

"I remember growing up and telling my mom I wanted to help other pastor kids or missionary kids," Andrea said.

Micah said the two biggest events for GEM-K are the winter ski retreat and the summer conference coinciding with GEM's annual conference. "GEM-K conference is a safe place for kids to come and know they have an advocate in the mission," Micah said.

Micah encouraged and prayed for a teen at a GEM-K conference several years ago. Micah asked him what kind of crowd he would hang out with at school.

"The boy's eyes dropped," Micah said. The teen explained that the friends he was hanging around the year before had started drinking alcohol excessively this year, and that he no longer had any friends because he decided not to associate with them anymore.

"It's pretty clear that if I'm not drinking excessively with them, then I'm not welcomed," the teen said.

"[That moment] was an opportunity for me to put my arm around him and say 'I'm proud of you,'" Micah said. Micah prayed with the teen for God to bring him a group of Christian friends.

"When he left the room, a weight had been lifted - he knew he didn't have to carry this burden alone. A few months later, I reached out to him and learned he had met some Christian friends. God answered our prayer," Micah said.

This month at annual conference, over 30 GEM-Ks will come together for their own conference to worship, study spiritual formation, engage in small groups, have one-on-ones with leaders and enjoy a fun activity each day.

From the kid's perspective, these conferences are their only chance to connect with other kids their age who have the same Christian values. Andrea said even though GEM-Ks come from rich spiritual backgrounds, each of them is at a different stage in their faith.

The Heath's want to help the youth in GEM-K find a faith of their own. "We preach this God who is powerful, and He's not just something for their parents, He is available to the kids too," Micah said.

Our ultimate goal is that the GEM-Ks would be so confident in their faith and God's work in their life - no matter what the struggles are - that they would be able to share their faith authentically in Europe," Micah said.

Andrea's specific prayer is for the teens to experience Jesus personally this summer, so they can be encouraged daily by his presence.

Pray for the youth in GEM-K, that they would find and strengthen their faith and learn to walk in the example of Jesus. Pray for family unity for all of the GEM families serving in Europe.

Pray also for GEM's annual conference - that the missionaries would experience spiritual renewal and fellowship with one another in sharing stories from their work and encouraging each other during the week.

There are many creative ways to serve with the GEM-K ministry and the Heaths invite anyone who is interested to email Andrea. The Heaths hope that the generosity of others will increase the GEM-K scholarship fund. The GEM-K fund helps families afford to send their teens to the winter and summer retreats. If you are interested in receiving the GEM-K prayer newsletter or finding out how you can help by serving with GEM-K, email the Heaths at andrea.heath@gemission.org.

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