By Seth Rieske | Photos courtesy of author
Trinity is blessed to have so many students who use their summers to serve others. Incoming junior, Seth Rieske, spent his summer serving in CRU in New Jersey.
What is the best thing you’ve ever done in your life? For me, this summer has been truly a one of a kind experience. I was given the amazing opportunity to serve God on a ten week summer mission trip with 60 other students from colleges across the nation in Ocean City, New Jersey.
I decided to go on mission with the college ministry organization CRU in hope that I would be radically transformed by God and that I would gain the confidence and courage to share my faith with others. My specific role on mission was worship director which meant creating a time of worship where God was glorified and his children were refreshed.
There were many facets of life on mission. One of the most amazing aspects was evangelism. Throughout the week we would go out on the boardwalk and talk about our faith in God with people visiting the beach.
Our team had over 3,000 conversations with people about their faith and spiritual beliefs which showed people the love of Christ that so many people lack in their lives. We also had an additional 1,000 conversations where we were able to share the gospel and tell others about Jesus’s redemptive work on the cross.
As part of our mission work, we also were tasked with working a normal job and were challenged to share our faith with our coworkers. I worked at a CVS, and I was able to have a lot of God centered conversations with my coworkers consistently in a setting that allowed for more vulnerability.
Another important aspect of mission was building strong biblical community. This was accomplished through one on one discipleship from staff and other students, nights of worship praise, sharing of testimonies, and lots of biblical teaching and equipping.
“For the first time I began to have a daily walk with my heavenly Father, I learned what it really means to surrender my life to Christ, and I embraced a Spirit-led life.”
GOD AT WORK
God was evident in ways that impacted not only myself but everyone around me. For the first time I began to have a daily walk with my heavenly Father, I learned what it really means to surrender my life to Christ, and I embraced a Spirit-led life.
God was evident and faithful as we took steps of faith, having conversations on the boardwalk as well as with coworkers, family, and friends. I learned what it truly means to rely on the Holy Spirit, trusting in his faithful promises and remembering that no matter what comes, I can say it is well with my soul.
This summer has completely changed my perspective on what I want my life to be. I realized the importance of tithing, not just tithing in terms of money or material possessions but of our most valuable possession— time. I am now committed to the idea of giving at least a portion of my life to the Lord. This will most likely look like doing a one year internship with CRU.
I realized the importance of making my job my ministry and helping people find Christ is my ultimate passion in life. God has called me to have an impact on others and share the love and joy of Christ. The concepts I learned this summer have pushed me to be more bold in my faith on Trinity’s campus, taking steps of faith to share how God has been faithful in my life.
I have a newfound passion for loving my people and walking alongside them through life. It has shown me that whatever I do on my campus, whatever career I have, whatever church I go to, serving God needs to be at the center.
“The concepts I learned this summer have pushed me to be more bold in my faith on Trinity’s campus.”
I am so thankful for the ways God worked in my life this summer. I will never be able to fully express how transformational the summer was and the ways in which God was faithful to myself as well as every other student on mission. God used my summer on mission as a launching pad for the rest of my life and I am forever changed by God’s good grace. I couldn’t recommend spending your summer in a more valuable way than sacrificing time to God and going on mission.
After much contemplation, prayer, and support from friends, professors, and family, Seth has decided to switch his major from Biology to Psychology with an Organizational Leadership emphasis. He has been a part of emerging leaders and will be working with the student life team and faculty as they reup the curriculum for our emerging leaders courses. He is also serving on the leadership team of MUG (Men Under God), Trinity’s men’s ministry group.