Transitioning Home: Reflections from OBI Leader, Jade Landis

Jade Landis spent a large portion of her summer leading the Operation Barnabas International team to the Philippines. Jade has been a student on OB (domestic) and OBI, and has now been a team leader in both areas as well. She also traveled to the Philippines with Lancaster Bible College. It is safe to say that these ministries have had long lasting, life changing effects on Jade, and that part of her heart stays on the island of Boracay. If you missed her last update from the trip, click here! Below are some concluding thoughts and pictures from Jade. Please continue to pray for her transition back to life in Lancaster.

OBI 2014 has officially come to a close and as I sit down to reflect on the trip there are so many things that God did in and through our team and my personal life as well. Though there are a million stories I could share, I just want to share a personal lesson that God taught me and I hope that it challenges you as well!

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With this being my third trip I was excited to see what God was going to teach me through the Filipino culture and it was definitely more than I could have expected or asked for. Many times when people return from missions trips their first thoughts are in regards to the MANY materialistic things we have compared to those they just ministered to. Though this is very true and a realization that we should come to, I have realized that often we let the impact of the trip stop there. Instead this trip to the Philippines reminded me of the importance of relationships. The Filipinos continually seek to serve others, be kind to others, and always put others before themselves! This type of relationships goes against everything that our culture today teaches us about relationships. The relationships that I have formed with the Filipinos have a greater depth to them in my two weeks there than a lot of my relationships at home do. God really used my relationships with them to challenge me in my relationships here at home. We are all a part of the body of Christ and because of that there needs to be a depth and intentionality to our relationships.

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Returning from the Philippines is always difficult because it is always a place that will feel like home to me. Yet I am so thankful to be able to return home to Grace because I know of the wonderful church family that awaits me. Thank you for supporting me and praying for me as I led OBI this summer! Though this is only one story of what God did in my life while being there, there are MANY other stories and I would love to be able to tell you about! Do not hesitate to stop and ask me what God did in and through the OBI team in our time there! Thank you again for the many prayers!

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OBI Update… they have arrived!


Last week, the OBI team met up at Grace Church of Orange in California for orientation. Our very own Jade Landis is the leader for this team of seven students. They spend days learning from God’s Word, practicing their programs, helping out with a VBS, learning Tagalog (the language of the Philippines), and preparing for the three weeks of ministry they will do in Boracay. After orientation and two full days of travel, the OBI team is in Boracay, Philippines!

All of the team’s updates are on their blog here or come through email (subscribe HERE)!

Please continue to pray for Jade as she leads these students, for their safety, and for effective ministry!

If you’d like more information about Jade’s history with OB, click here.

OBI flight

OB… What’s that?

OB Logo

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


Jade Landis in the Philippines

Jade Landis recently graduated from Lancaster Bible College with a degree in Social Work. Jade has been attending Grace Church for nine years and is an 11th grade girls POD leader on youth staff as well as a vocalist on the worship arts ministry team. Her passions for serving and investing in young people extend across the globe and she is leading a team of students on a trip to the Philippines this summer.

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I have the opportunity to lead the Operation Barnabas International 2014 team to the Philippines from June 26-July 18. The group consists of 7 students and me. We will have a 2 day orientation out in Orange County, California and then fly to the Philippines on June 29th. From there we will serve almost 3 weeks on the islands of Boracay and Panay. Our team will be working with Dan and Tori Beaver who have served over there for many years with First Love International. This ministry is the same one that I worked with in 2010 with OBI as a student and again last year with Lancaster Bible College.

While there we will do manual labor to continue building the ministry center on the island of Boracay. In addition we will love on the children of the island at feeding sites. Feeding sites provide the opportunity for our students to share a Bible story, play games, feed a meal, complete simple wound care, and just love on these children who are sometimes neglected. We will also spend a few days traveling over the nearby island of Panay to work with the Ati Tribe. The Ati Tribe has bee neglected and forced to live up on the mountain in huts and without much civilization. Dan and Tori have worked with their staff to build a school up there for the Ati children so we will have the opportunity to do some tutoring up there as well as help with some Typhoon relief from November. In addition we will use some of the normal OB programming (puppets, dramas, pantomimes, choir songs, etc.) to share the Gospel in the local schools.

My role as the leader of OBI will be to be in communication with the missionaries as well as lead my team spiritually. Though I have been to the Philippines twice before and led Operation Barnabas last summer, this leadership position will be one that will stretch me. It will be a leadership role that will challenge me and push me to step up and lead in a new manner. I covet your prayers in many ways but especially as I prepare to lead this team.

Other specific prayer requests:

  1. That the hearts of the 7 students would be teachable
  2. Wisdom as I lead this team as a single female leader
  3. Many would come to know the Lord as their personal Savior
  4. That as a team of 8 we would be unified as one team with the same purpose
  5. That we would be an encouragement to the missionaries and their staff

Thank you for your support and prayers!

Jade Landis

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Join us this Sunday at our 9:00am and 10:45am services for Jade’s church send off! We will post updates of her trip beginning the last week of June.

Grace Church has had significant involvement with Operation Barnabas (Domestic and International) for over 30 years, including sending many students and leaders from our church, hosting orientation at Grace Church, and providing finances for buses and other practical ministry needs. In addition, Grace Church financially supports “TK” (Timothy Kurtaneck) who is the Director of OB through the parent organization, CE National. For more information about Operation Barnabas and Operation Barnabas International, click HERE. If you are interested in going on OB or OBI, contact Jeremiah (Director of Student Ministries)