Even if you know nothing about antiques, the Antiques Road Show television program can be fascinating. A group of antiques experts travels to cities around the United States and invites the local people to bring their antiques for appraisal. People will bring in furniture, paintings and all sorts of knick-knacks to have them valued. Some bring a family heirloom, believing it’s of great value, only to find out it is a fake or cheap imitation, worth hardly anything. But sometimes—and this is the real attraction of this show—the opposite happens.
Someone shows up almost apologetically with an old item they assume has little value. The expert, perhaps a bit bored after looking at junk all day, suddenly perks up. He puts on white gloves (a sure sign he is getting serious) and examines the item closely. Then he asks the owner, “Where did you get this?” The anticipation builds as viewers sense something special is about to happen. The appraiser turns the item over and shows the now excited owner the signature of a master craftsman. “I can’t tell you how much this item is worth, he says. “There are only a handful of these in the entire world. Your item is priceless!”
I have seen many moments like this. Not because I am an antiques expert. I know nothing about them. My expertise is at the other end of the age spectrum—young people. I am privileged to be the coordinator of a “road show” that helps many people, some who think they are of no value, see how much they really are worth. The “road show” I’m talking about is GCI Generations Ministries (GenMin) Camps and Missions. We are about to “hit the road” again with this year’s camps and short-term mission programs.
We design our programs to be fun. But it is fun with a purpose. As with antiques, so many of us do not know what our lives are worth. Many young people grow up with an inferiority complex, believing they are of little or no value, doomed to be a failure. Deep down, what young people want—what we all want—is to know that we are loved, valued and accepted. That is what our GenMin camps and missions set out to do.
At our “road show,” no human life is ever considered valueless or a cheap imitation. Each and every individual is made in God’s image, signed by the master crafter, priceless in value and precious to the Owner. We know that, because he paid top price for each one of us—Jesus paid for us with his precious blood. Imagine what a difference it can make in a young person’s life to experience an environment where the fact of their personal value to God and his personal love for them is taught and practiced.
Generations Ministries Camps & Missions are places where people experience the love, acceptance and belonging of Jesus Christ. This can transform the way a young person feels about himself or herself and make an impact that lasts a lifetime. That is why I am excited as we prepare to hit the road with another year of camps and short-term missions.
GenMin short-term mission trips are designed for people who are interested in not only sharing good news, but also being good news to the world. Activities may include Christian classes for children, worship services for the local village, constructing churches, serving meals, delivering clothes and other usable items and being a personal witness to the love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. GenMin missions are generally one-two weeks in length and prices are reasonable for the experience being offered. Here is a list and websites of the GenMin missions currently offered:
Texas and Mexico border mission
South Africa mission
Great Commission Trips
Mission trips offered to the Bahamas, India and Zambia
Word in the Street
Cincinnati, Ohio, inner-city mission
Connections Family Camp
Gateway to God
SEP So Cal
Although we do our best to make all our camps and mission opportunities affordable, there are always some families who just don’t have the resources to go. Often, these are the people who need it most. GCI GenMin Camps and short-term missions deeply appreciate donations to help cover costs, including scholarships for campers and missionaries. Information about how to donate to GenMin is listed at genmin.gci.org/donate.html.
Anthony Mullins, 2011