When you put yourself in a situation where you have to depend on God, your faith will grow." These words from Doug VanderMeulen explain why he and more than 60 other young people from across the country have decided to spend a year living, ministering, serving, and learning in Americas inner cities. These young "urban missionaries" are participants in a program called Mission Year. This grassroots youth movement was initiated by Call to Renewal and founded by Tony and Bart Campolo. In just its second full year of operation, the program has brought together young people from more than 20 states who are giving a year of their lives to do ministry in some of the places it is most needed.
Mission Year missionaries form teams of six or seven young people who live and work together in inner-city communities. The program is designed to be an experience in Christian discipleship and service. Missionaries are nurtured spiritually while being empowered to make an impact on their communities. Participants give their time and energy to four primary activities: neighborhood outreach, personal/team development, volunteer work, and participation in local churches.