How you can make a difference and have fun doing it this summer

Carlee Colvard, Staff Writer

I practically spent my summer living out of a suitcase and it was by far the best summer of my life. You have the opportunity to go on this adventure too.

Parkwood Baptist Church has a program called Missions Catalyst that allows college students to fulfill Acts 1:8 by ministering in Gastonia, N.C., helping with church plants in Phoenix, Ariz., and going with the Gospel internationally to Cote d’Ivoire.

Missions Catalyst is a 10-week program from May 13 through August 1. Six weeks is spent working in a local ministry in Gastonia and going through training sessions about how to make disciples. All materials are provided, including lunch at the church.

The summer begins with a retreat to get to know the people on your team. The catalysts also help the church at GetAway, the youth group beach retreat in Garden City, S.C.

The total cost for the summer is $2,000, which covers all expenses including ground transportation and housing expenses while traveling. During the six weeks in Gastonia, housing will be provided by the church.

When I began my mission catalyst journey this summer, I had no idea what God had in store.

On the first day, I walked in not sure what to expect. We all sat down in the college room at the church and began singing worship songs using YouTube for the music.

There were only five of us, and let’s be honest, we weren’t the best singers. Our sounds were joyful, but let me tell you they were anything but beautiful.

We then proceeded by someone giving a devotion and praying.

After we shared about what God was doing in our local ministries, a pastor came in to teach a lesson on material we had already read.

I received some of the best advice during this time, including that God’s will involves taking one step at a time.

My favorite part about being a catalyst was going on the international trip. We went on our international trip to Kosovo, where we built relationships with the kids at a local school, worked in a bakery, and delivered food to poor people in the church.

On our way home, we stayed a night in Istanbul, Turkey, where we toured the Hagia Sophia, and the Blue Mosque.

In Arizona, my team worked with a church to put on a Vacation Bible School program, and at GetAway, I led a middle school group in Bible study.

I learned so much about God, missions, and my call in ministry. I learned that missions is ultimately relational. I learned how to apply missions to my daily tasks.

For instance, when I get my toenails done at the nail salon, I witness and share the love of Jesus with the person giving me a pedicure. I mean, she can’t go anywhere else, right? She has to listen to me. So I take the opportunity to show her the love of Christ.

While I may not know God’s exact call on my life concerning missions, I know that I am called to it in a certain degree. All believers are called to missions, whether it’s in Tigerville or on the other side of the globe. It’s all about taking one step at a time in following the Lord’s will for your life.

Maybe Missions Catalyst is the next step for you. 

The deadline for applications is January 31. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Nick Majors at 919-830-7079 or email him at