counter-culture | World Challenge

counter-culture

Youth in the Heart of Africa

Arthur Manirambona
June 11, 2019

Concern for the young people and future of Burundi is what drives one young man, a World Challenge scholarship student at Summit.

I am from Bujumbura, the capital city* of Burundi in East Africa.

Raised in a non-Christian family, I started drinking when I was 6 years old. It’s not uncommon for people to start drinking at an early age with the traditions in our community.

Later, I started going to clubs when I was about 12 years old. I used to sneak out of my house late at night. The men at the club didn’t care about my age as long as I could pay. Especially on Friday night, I would go out with friends and buy drinks.

In high school, one of my friends told me the gospel then invited me to a movie night at church because he knew that I’m a fan of movies. Through that movie and my friend, I got saved.

Darkness on Peru’s Emerald Mountains

Rachel Chimits
May 24, 2019

Major challenges are facing the church in Peru as they look for ways to serve their society’s most vulnerable. 

This spring, Director of Mercy Ministries Mark Buzzetta traveled to Cusco, Peru to connect with a local church doing great work caring for widows.

The trip was eye-opening to Peru’s great natural beauty and local struggles, coming almost as often from floods of global tourists to their region as well as stifling animist traditions.

A Booming Economy Downside

The Chicago Tribune pointed out the sad state of Peru’s massive tourist attraction, Machu Picchu, and by connection, Cusco.

A Vision for Kenya

Irene Life
May 15, 2019

The callings of God on our lives can seem impossible, but one girl’s story is a testament to God laying out his path before us.

Back in 2017, I was napping and had a vision. It was so vivid, I don’t know what else to call it. I saw myself in front of a board meeting, and I was talking to them about kids and fund raising.

I woke up and quickly said, “God, that’s not me. That’s my brother.”

My brother is good with kids, so I pushed the vision out of my mind. I actually forgot about it until almost a year later. 

Finding the Ultimate Architect

Ilya Shchetinin
April 30, 2019

One World Challenge scholarship student shares how he went from a prospective architect to ministry leader.

I’m from Oregon City, outside Portland. Life was normal, going the usual route until this guy named Stan who was a Summit graduate married someone at my church. Whenever he was speaking, I noticed something different about him, so I finally approached him and said, “Hey, we should talk.”

Stan looked me in the eye for a solid 30 seconds, saying nothing, and I was thinking, What’s going on right now? I just said I wanted to talk.

Then he offered to hang out. We talked about life, and he eventually became my mentor. In a lot of ways, he encouraged me to think differently about God. 

Finding the God of Truth and Grace

Vanessa Johnson
May 1, 2019

Now one of MOG’s leaders and World Challenge’s potential partners, one young lady looks back on how God made himself real to her.

I was born in Mexico. When I was five, my parents divorced. My father had put us in a situation where my mom was frightened for our safety.

We moved in with my grandparents who were Christians. Most people in Mexico are Catholic, so I grew up in a unique situation. 

Looking back, God was always present.

Picturing a Complete Family

I had a lot of anger as a child, and I would take it out on God mainly. I remember a couple nights getting really frustrated—“God, why is this part of my life this way?”—questioning everything.

Heart of Healing for Burundi

Iteka Santi
April 12, 2019

Burundi is called the heart of Africa, and when you look at it on a map, you can see why. The small country is shaped very much like our body’s most vital organ. 

Learning to Lead by Serving

When I was in school, I thought I would be a doctor because I was good in science.

Since I was doing well, my parents sent me to a private high school that was also a Christian school, and the director, Freddy, was also the president of Youth for Christ. Freddy taught us a lot about leadership and the purpose of our lives. 

I didn’t know that God had a plan for my life. 

My parents weren’t believers, and I’d never thought about God designing me for certain things in life. 

Building Lives and Lands on Truth

Adewunmi Adetayo
March 25, 2019

Social innovator and World Challenge scholarship student Adewunmi is dreaming of bringing communities a clearer vision of who God is.

As a child in Nigeria, I always saw poverty. Maybe 2% of the population is living with a ridiculous amount of money, and the other 98% are spinning their wheels and going in circles even though there is enough for everyone to have enough. 

It’s just a fact of living there, though it shouldn’t have to be.

The Fragile Church

I came to the US when I was 16, and I moved to New York City after college to work in the fashion industry. 

A Vision for Macedonia

March 15, 2019

While many younger people are fleeing the Balkans, God is calling one World Challenge scholarship student and others like him back to their homeland.

I come from east Macedonia, and I was raised up in a Christian family. All of my life, I’ve known who God is. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit when I was eleven and then baptized in water when I was fifteen. 

Because I didn’t have Christian friends, though, I lived in the world. I started to gamble, drink and go to clubs with my friends. 

I sat on two chairs, one in the world and one with God. I knew something was wrong, that I should change my life, but I liked having my own way. I told myself, ‘My father is a pastor, and every Sunday I sit in church, so I’m safe. I’m going to heaven.’  

A History of Faith

Eh Shu
February 19, 2019

With a World Challenge scholarship, a Karen refugee is pursuing God’s calling into the unknown.

I was born in Burma, but I’m not Burmese. I’m of the Karen. Really, my story begins long before I was born.

Adoniram Judson was the reason my family was Christian long before they came to the United States.

He was an American missionary who spent his whole life dedicated to Burma and translated the Bible into the local language. Initially, he meant the gospel to go to the Burmese, but most of them didn’t accept it.

Making a Legacy

Rachel Chimits
January 16, 2019

"And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.” (Joel 2:28 NLT)

Gen Z—the generation following millennials—is the least Christian generation to date, according to a new Barna study. Thirty-four percent of Gen Z’s religious affiliation is either atheist, agnostic or none.

Not only that, but one-quarter of Gen Z (24%) strongly agrees that what is morally right and wrong changesover time. For example, the study shows that only a third of Gen Z-ers believe lying is immoral.