Operation Barnabas. What is it?
WELL… Operation Barnabas (OB) is run under the parent organization CE National. Based in Winona Lake, Indiana, CE runs many different venues of ministry, including Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia and Momentum Youth Conference. (We have over 80 of our own students going to Momentum this year!) For more information about CE National, click here.
OB began 40 years ago when a group of 16 high school students, under the leadership of two couples, went “on tour” in Ohio and Indiana performing programs in churches. Though the program has evolved over the years, the heart of the program still aims to train students in ministry with the goal of each student being able to dig deep into the ministry of their local church. Over the 6+ weeks of travel, the students are exposed to and participate in many different kinds of evangelism and serving. The tour concludes at Momentum, where the students debrief and are reunited with their church for a week of learning, worship, service, and FUN. For more information about Operation Barnabas, visit their website!
Grace Church has many connections with Operation Barnabas. We financially support Timothy Kurtaneck (TK), Director of OB. We have also sent dozens of our own GSM students on Operation Barnabas in years past…Check out some testimonies at the end of this post! Many come back with a renewed desire to pour into their local church. One of our GSM alumni is leading the OB International team in the Philippines right now! (See more about here trip here.)
Though there aren’t any GSM students on OB this year, we still have the opportunity to pray for these high schoolers who are taking big steps in their life. To receive updates from the OB teams, go HERE or visit their blog HERE.
If you will be between your sophomore year of high school and freshman year of college next summer, you can apply for Operation Barnabas! Email Jeremiah here AND visit OB’s website here! Applications for OB 2015 will be available at the end of July.
OB opened my eyes to how powerful God is and how he can work through young people to spread the gospel. Being a teenager, it showed me the importance of reaching out to the lost, it also showed me how to be selfless in a world filled with self righteous people. It pushed me to step out of my element to do things I would never have done, in order to bring others to salvation. It is the most life altering experience that will set a solid foundation for your walk with Christ. -Janelle Burton 2008
Operation Barnabas is a ministry training trip that God used to open my eyes to ministry and the many ways that God can use me. It was truly a life changing experience for me as I learned to love others more deeply, see the needs around me and go meet them myself, and to have open conversations about the Gospel with whoever I came into contact with. It was a summer of taking me out of my comfort zone and putting me in situations where my only choice was to rely on God and allow Him to shape and mold me. -Jade Landis 2009
My first summer on OB was as a student in 1998. That was the summer that God showed me – through the input of my leaders – that I had some leadership gifts that needed developed and used for God’s purposes. That summer included my first experiences preaching, and speaking in front of a crowd. It also jump-started a more intense discipleship process in my life. It was that summer on OB when I understood the need to take God and my life (which is His) more seriously. I went on OB again as a student in 2000 after my senior year in high school – they were either really desperate for guys or I didn’t “get it” the first time around! Regardless, I continued to grow in my leadership abilities through that summer. I returned as an OB leader in 2001 and 2004, and Renee and I were Administrative leaders of a team in 2006. In addition, we’ve hosted several OB teams and orientation at Grace Church. This ministry has impacted my life significantly, and has had a major impact on our church and our community as well! -Doug Kegarise 1998, 2000
I went on Operation Barnabas in 2001, as a 16 year old going into my junior year in high school. I was very nervous about being away from friends and family for over 6 weeks but it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I walked away from a summer of ministry feeling healed from old wounds, loving my Savior in a new, deeper way than I ever had before, and with a clearer picture of where the Lord wanted to take me in the future. It was a stretching, growing time for me and I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to go! Operation Barnabas wants to develop 3 things in it’s students: 1. A heart for full time ministry, 2. A heart for the lost, and 3. A heart for encouraging others. I truly feel like all three of these were more fully developed in me during my summer on OB. While I haven’t (yet) felt called to vocational full time ministry, I have a higher purpose in my daily work, parenting and coaching athletics – seeing others put their hope in Christ and living for Him, and I truly have grown from encouraging and being encouraged by other believers! OB has had a lasting influence on my life. -Genna Antes 2001