What if students could enjoy the fun of camp while gaining the experience of being on the mission field?
That question posed by the HUB Student Ministry staff led to the creation of Rush Week — a merger of their summer camps and mission trips.
The first two Rush Weeks in 2010 and 2011 were in Pensacola, FL, and then it moved to Branson, MO in 2012. Rush Week returned to the Ozarks this July 20-27 with 210 students (Grades 7-12) and 90 adults for a week of fun and ministry.
“Rush Week taught me that mission trips are about putting yourself behind, and allowing God to use you however He pleases,” said Bryan Delfino Flores, a senior at Lamar High School in HISD who attended his first Rush Week this year. “God showed me that I don't have to travel to serve Him, that I can do it in my own town, in my own school.”
For the first time at Rush Week, students could participate in a new Student Worship Arts Team (SWAT). SWAT provided a worship experience of blended mediums of music and worship arts at church services, VBS events, and block parties. Many SWAT members plan to join ELEVATE Student Worship — a new ministry for Grades 6-12 starting this fall.
“Our evangelism team started out a bit hesitant, but ended the week excited about meeting people in the community and praying for and with them,” recalls Clark Reynolds, one of the adults on the trip. “I pray that the Lord uses this week as a stepping stone to a deeper walk with Him for all the students who went to Rush Week.”
Clark’s prayers were answered in part during Rush Week. Among the students who attended, there were 10 salvations, 19 who said they were ready to be baptized, 12 who felt called to ministry, and 88 who said they were rededicating their lives to the Lord or who felt a call to change their current lifestyle.
“If it weren't for my friends who welcomed me then I wouldn't be at Houston’s First today, and I wouldn't have gone to Rush Week,” says Bryan. “But now that I went, I can't quit praising God for what He's done in my life, for taking me and transforming me to His humble servant — for giving me this eternal fire for Him!”
In 2014, the HUB Student Ministry is expanding opportunities for students to gain missions experience. Rush Week takes place the week of July 19-26, and the new RushMore will take place the week of July 12-19. Where will they go? Students and parents will find out when locations are announced later this year!