“Love God, love people, make disciples of the nations. That’s about the simplest way I can describe missions. While there are numerous expressions of what it looks like to be missional, it comes down to being obedient to the commands we are given in scripture and following the leading of God’s voice in our daily lives.”
If you were to ask anyone here on the Oval about the Mathesons, the first things that come to mind would be their kindness, their openness, and the devotion and incredible energy they have brought to re-pioneering Mission Adventures in the UK.
“The aim is to take youth outside the distractions of their everyday lives and to provide an environment for them to encounter God in radical and life changing ways. Our goal is that through a ‘Mission Adventure’, youth will not only be personally transformed by God and have their worldview broadened, but that when they return home they will work together to collectively apply what they have learned and experienced, within their local community.”
Stu, a native of Surrey, England and Amy, a Canadian from the island of Newfoundland, first met as students on a Discipleship Training School at Holmsted Manor in 2007, before getting married in 2010. They currently run Mission Adventures, a missions training program which takes youth groups and individuals on short-term cross-cultural missions. “Stu is like the gas pedal in our relationship and I’m the brake; he is always up for a new challenge or adventure and he’s quite visionary as well, while I tend to be a bit more focused on the day-to-day, and need to think through every angle before making a decision. While being different can present its challenges, overall we help to balance each other out and I think it makes us a stronger team.”
While in Canada, Stu worked at an overnight youth centre for homeless youth and Amy completed a honours degree in Sociology. After establishing and selling their own business, a mortgage brokerage, and having their son Aiden, the couple felt the Lord calling them back into missions, something which was on both of their hearts from a young age. They had each experienced a short-term outreach much like Mission Adventures during their formative years, and it had such a profound impact on their faith that they wanted to give other young people that same opportunity. After a clear word from the Lord, and with the support of their family and friends, they began to make the exciting transition from Canada to the UK, bringing the Mission Adventures Ministry back to England.
Mission Adventures is a two week cross-cultural missions trip for youth groups and individuals. Essentially, it is a way to make short-term missions more accessible to young people.
“One of our aims is to equip church youth leaders with the tools and resources to take their youth groups on a cross-cultural missions trip, something which is currently out of reach for many smaller churches. Mission Adventures staff take care of all the logistics of the trip (food, housing, training, transportation, ministry planning, translation, debriefing etc), enabling youth leaders to do what they do best, leading their youth. Allowing them to share the experience with their group, instead of getting bogged down in planning and administration.”
This couple has a vision to raise a banner of missions for England, to help prepare the next generation of missionaries out of England.
“We want to instil a missional mindset into young people at a time in their lives when they are making big decisions about their futures, so that whatever they do, whether it’s university or getting a job or something else entirely, they’re doing it for the Kingdom.” – Amy
Interested in learning more about Mission Adventures?
Two back-to-back summer programmes will launch this year, each consisting of a 5-day training camp, 10-day overseas outreach, and 2-day debrief and celebration. Outreach location options include Albania, Athens, Latvia, Moldova, Romania, and Bosnia & Herzegovina. The dates and campus locations are as follows:
Exam-Leavers and Students (ages 16+)
Holmsted Manor, West Sussex: July 6th – 23rd
Youth Groups and Individuals (ages 13+)
YWAM Harpenden, Hertfordshire: July 26 – August 12th
For more information including details about outreach countries, types of ministries, accommodation, and so on, please visit www.missionadventures.co.uk
Samantha Gartner, YWAM Harpenden Staff