What is Youth in Mission?

Youth in Mission is a dedicated service and outreach arm of Our Savior’s Youth Group.  The purpose of Youth in Mission is:

  1. to provide opportunities for bringing the Good News of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ to a specific segment of a population within a society determined to be be in spiritual need, while at the same time working to build a self-supporting structure within local churches to continue meeting the need long-term.
  2. to provide the opportunity for Lutheran congregations in America to be involved “first hand” in helping those in need in our neighborhoods, country, and world.
  3. to offer high school students the opportunity to experience the field of Christian mission in an extraordinary and tangible way.
  4. to be a means by which the Holy Spirit has opportunity to convince participating high school youth to consider pursuing careers as church professionals (i.e. Lutheran day school teacher, deaconess, pastor, or missionary).
  5. to help foster the ability of Christian high school youth to clearly confess the hope that is within them in the mission field of everyday life, that is, their vocation in life no matter which field of study or career they pursue.

A Brief History of Youth in Mission

Our Savior, in association with Lutheran Heritage Foundation, first sent a group of high school students to Russia in 2002 in order to share the Word of Christ with orphaned children by providing a Bible camp.  The trip was a success, and although LHF did not continue in the effort, Our Savior continued the effort for five years until the regional political climate inhibited our ability to return.  Since 2002, as the Youth in Mission project unfolded,  the scope of the efforts began to include local and national events.

Following our time in Russia, Youth in Mission was able to serve high school aged youth in Lithuania for several years, with 2010 being the last international trip to date. There is, however, an effort underway to rejoin our partners overseas in 2017. Future projects are in the works!

While stateside, Youth in Mission has remained busy.  Below are only a few of the projects that have occurred:

  • Appalachian Servant Event  (2006-Present) – Repairing homes for people in the mountains of North Carolina who are not able to complete the project on their own.
  • Alaska Missions for Christ (2009-2012) – Leading VBS-style camps for Native Alaskans
  • SonRise Camp (2014) – Working one-on-one with adults with developmental disabilities in a camp setting in Anderson, Indiana.


03-16-2020: Third Week in Lent

I hope you’re not expecting me to talk about the coronavirus. Sure, it’s on our minds. But since we’re already being so diligent, how about we catch our collective breath and get back to considering other things? Mindful of the season of Lent, the current desktop image for my computer is the portrait by Carl…

03-09-2020: Second Week of Lent

I sat down this morning intending to write something relative to Lent, something helpful to you. However, the only thought that keeps emerging from my early morning mind is one that’s already been swirling around in it for a while. It’s sitting at the forefront right now because of a Facebook conversation between two friends…

03-01-2020: First Week of Lent

Take Care with Your Words————I know I’ve shared with you countless times before that I’m a huge fan of Shakespeare. I’ve also told you with great honesty that I can only take him a little bit at a time. What I mean is that I can read through the entirety of one of his works,…

02-24-2020: Week of Ash Wednesday

I apologize for the tardiness of this note. I’m at home and a little under the weather, so I’ll do my best to give you something worth starting your week. I was telling Jen that even though there’s not a whole lot I can do about the setbacks that come from being sick, I still…

02-17-2020: Sixth Week after Epiphany

I spent some time this past week doing what I do on occasion—making calls to inactive members of the congregation. I made the calls while I was out and about on visitations. When it comes to this process, I’ll admit I’m noticing a trend. It used to be that for the calls made, I could…

02-10-2020: Fifth Week after Epiphany

I’m doing my best to get this note together before 9:30 am. A reporter from NPR is coming out to the church for an interview regarding Livingston County politics—namely, the 8th Congressional District of Michigan. I don’t know the questions I’ll be asked, but I will, of course, do my best to speak in a…

02-03-2020: Fourth Week after Epiphany

I don’t know what it’s like in your house, but when the Thoma family has the chance to dine together, the table discussions are fairly well balanced. What I mean is that you might expect the parents to do most of the talking, asking the children about their day, discovering the particulars of their friendships…

01-27-2020: Third Week after Epiphany

I almost decided against writing anything this morning. Usually something worth sharing comes to mind as soon as I sit down to start typing, but this time around, I stared at the screen for a few minutes. I thought I might write something in relation to 80s day here at Our Savior. We’re celebrating Lutheran…

01-20-2020: Second Week after Epiphany

For those of you who have the day off, I hope it’s a restful one. Evelyn and I will be leaving for Adrian soon. I’m giving a speech at the Right to Life march happening there. With Jen out of town until tonight, I’m keeping Evelyn close by. But she’s an ultra-pro-lifer, anyway, and she…

01-13-2020: First Week after Epiphany

I’ll be giving the invocation before the Michigan State Senate on Tuesday. I’m not nervous. I’ve done it several times before. And I rarely get nervous before speaking to a crowd, anyway. Imagine if I did. As a pastor, I’d be a constant wreck. A good portion of what I do involves public speaking. Still,…