Jeanea and I met Blane Young a few years ago and he told us of his life being changed by U.S. MAPS (now called Church Mobilization).
He currently serves with Chi Alpha Campus Ministries in Washington D.C. as a chaplain at American University where he and his team minister to students from 150 countries and 50 states.
Around 12 yrs old, he and his family moved to Brunswick, Ga. They started attending a small Assembly of God church. This church had a heart to reach their community, but their vision was greater than their resources, so the church applied to US MAPS.
Blane said he watched as RV Volunteers helped build a building that would help the church invest in families and reach the community. For the next year he witnessed a shift in his family's life and the life of the church.
The church and volunteers created a place that Blane felt confident inviting friends and family and engaging the community in a new way. The church has since grown to over 600 people.
When these RVers came, it caused the church members, including Blane's dad, to take ownership of the church. Because they saw what the RVers were doing, sacrificing to bless their church, the church people stepped up and said this is our community we can do something too.
Now that facility is a bedrock for that community.
As a student in kids ministry and youth ministry, Blane says "I was clearly impacted by the decision of a lot of people I didn't know to get in their RVs and use their skills to help a church dream beyond what they were capable of."
Blane looks back to this time in the church in Brunswick, Ga as being foundational in who he has become.
In this church that MAPS built, he was mentored for the first time in his life, he learned hard work and how to invest his own life, and saw his parents become involved in the work of the church. Now as a missionary he has a high standard that people would want to get involved because he saw it, not with a foreign missionary, but with MAPS staff and volunteers.
Stories like Blane's grow my conviction that if we strengthen the church in America, we strengthen our reach, not only to the U.S., but to the world.