Destino Break 2018

“I don’t even know why I’m here,” said Jane. “I don’t really like the party scene, but all my friends are here so I came.” Jane, who was about to do Jell-O shots with her high school senior friends, was being honest. Like many on spring break, she didn’t know her purpose.

Destino staff members JD and Vanessa approached Jane on the shore of Port Aransas, Texas. They were part of a group of 33 Destino students and staff (pictured above) that spent their spring break much differently than Jane and her friends. On Destino Break, the group received training and went to the beach to start conversations about Jesus.

Vanessa and JD used a picture survey called Soularium to talk with Jane, Dillion and Alex. “As we heard about how these students gave into peer pressure and how they didn’t have a relationship with Jesus, my heart sank,” said Vanessa. Just before they could share the gospel, Jane’s friends called them over to head out. As they left, JD gave them each a booklet called Knowing God Personally, which explains the gospel and provides an opportunity to receive Christ.

Although those three students didn’t receive Christ that day, some others did. Destino students shared the gospel with 18 people and three of those received Christ!

On the last day of Destino Break, five students decided to be baptized (pictured above). Jolene, a student from Northwest Vista College said, “I always thought baptism was something you had to earn. I thought I wasn’t worthy to be baptized. [But now I understand] God already claimed that I was worthy by sending His son to die for my sins. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Today through baptism I choose to identify myself with Jesus Christ.”

What a joy to see the Lord at work in the lives of many!

Posted by Destino Admin in Missions, Outreach, Spiritually Empowered, 0 comments

“Your will and not my own.”

Jerry was not happy. During the day of outreach at the Destino Winter Conference, most students go out into the community. But some are asked to stay back at the hotel to intentionally reach out to their friends and family through the internet.

Jerry wanted to go out into the community, but he was asked to stay back and do the digital outreach. Disappointed, he managed to pray, “God, move and use me today; let me do your will and not my own."

Jerry, pictured above, saw God do something unexpected.

After being trained in some of Destino's digital evangelism tools, God helped Jerry share what he was learning at the conference with friends and family back home. He ended up sharing the gospel with his best friend from childhood, Robert. Robert was deeply touched by the outreach video about how much Jesus loved him. Robert was amazed at how powerful God’s love was. Up to this point, Jerry had never been able to have this kind of conversation with his best friend, but he was overjoyed when Robert became a Christian that day! Praise God he uses us in new and unexpected ways when we surrender to his will!

Posted by Destino Admin in Outreach, Spiritually Empowered, 0 comments

Destino Winter Conference

“I was terrified!” said Enya. “I’ve never told anyone about Jesus, so it was my first time.” The freshman from San Diego was at the Destino Winter Conference in Dallas in January. Saturday afternoon she and several other students messaged a video to their friends on Facebook with a gospel message, leading to 76 spiritual conversations. “Even though I hadn’t talked to my friend for years, it went really well. She was really thankful I shared the video with her.”

Students attending DWC receive instructions for an outreach in Arlington, TX.

That same afternoon, the rest of the students at DWC partnered with a local church to do Sunday school type programs in different neighborhoods around the city. They played games and taught them a Bible story and memory verse. This “Day of Faith” during the conference gave students a direct opportunity to learn how to share with others about Jesus Christ. Students started 136 conversations and eight people prayed to receive Christ that afternoon!

The three day conference was themed Uno—One God, One Body and One Mission—together in Christ. Students were also challenged by speakers, and participated in workshops, bilingual worship, prayer and familia times.

Conferences allow students to step away from the chaos of life and consider their lives in light of eternity. “I’m so glad I went,” said Hannah, another student from San Antonio. “The Lord worked in so many ways this weekend. I’m looking forward to taking back what I’ve learned from this conference and continuing to share the gospel and His love with others.”

Students post their burdens and blessings on a board during the final session of DWC.

On the last night of the conference, students were led to bring their struggles to God through a guided prayer time. They wrote down a burden and a blessing on a post-it note and brought it to the front of the room. They then put these notes on a board with a map of the world to show how God uses it all to reach the world for Christ.

We also experimented with a satellite conference in LA for students who couldn’t make it to the national conference. Over 30 participated!

If you'd like to experience or revisit this years' DWC you can  watch talks and others segments at youtube.com/destinomovement.

Lizeth Rios shared how Destino has impacted her life during one of the sessions at DWC.

Posted by Destino Admin in Outreach, Spiritually Empowered, 0 comments
What is Familia?

What is Familia?

This week we want to give a shout out to Destino at the University of Arizona/Pima!  This spring, they’ve been working really hard to meet people and build a movement in their city.  Recently, they did an awesome outreach on campus that engaged students by asking questions.

They asked students to explain what family is, what they like about their culture, what their culture needs, and if they think one can know God personally.  Students were invited to write their ideas on a giant graffiti board and then were invited to a meeting where U. of A. head baseball coach Andy Lopez gave his testimony of how he grew up in church, but later met God for real and how his personal relationship with Jesus has really changed his life.

Building a spiritual movement is often slow and very hard work, but we’re so excited to see the movement at UA/Pima gaining traction. The Lord is doing awesome things there!  What questions could you use to start spiritual conversations on your campus?

Posted by Devin Tressler in Culturally Connected, Outreach, 0 comments
Sharing the Gospel through Día de los Muertos

Sharing the Gospel through Día de los Muertos

The smell of cempasuchitl (Mexican marigolds) would often take over the busyness and pollution of the city. It signified the beginning of a colorful celebration that I did not fully understand, but certainly enjoyed.  As a child, Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), was a moment to remember those who had gone before us. It served as a tribute. As a young teenager, Día de los Muertos, served as a tool to humorously deal with realities we could not overcome.

Through altars and short poems, sorrows and anecdotes were expressed in a cheerful tone during this season and out of fear many mocked death in an effort to overcome it, if only momentarily. Doing so alleviated the harsh realities of a broken world and of an imminent destiny.

Regardless of the many perceptions of this celebration, I think Día de los Muertos today can serve in bridging many to Jesus. I want to challenge us to point out the glimpse of the greater story of life in this celebration.

Perhaps behind this tradition there is a sense that death is not how things ought to be, that it is contrary to our existence. What if we spoke truth into the evident need to overcome death?

Maybe we are the ones who could complete the story though sharing about the One who overcame death so that things are what they ought to be.

|Maybe we are the ones who could complete the story though sharing about the One who overcame death so that things are what they ought to be.

In your campus, there might be a Día de los Muertos celebration, where different groups or individuals set up “altares”. This might be a great place to meet Latinos and to engage in significant spiritual conversations as the topics of spirituality and death are easy to come up.

I have seen “altares” (display tables with relevant artifacts) to remember loved ones, to make a statement about ideas or philosophies or to humorously deal with realities.

An altar to the dying economy would be an example of humorously dealing with realities that are hard to overcome.

Last year at a campus in Southern California students decided to make an altar with colorful paper representing different aspects of the gospel, much like a gospel bracelet. Every time, someone came by to ask them what the topic of their altar was they shared the gospel through explaining each of the color specific levels.

Sandy, @itsovalle, served for several years with Destino in Texas and California.  She has a heart for creating multicultural communities of belonging where foreign-born and native-born people can experience the kingdom of God together. She believes God uses displacement and migration as essential catalysts to carry out his mission. Currently working at World Relief, Sandy empowers churches and communities to engage their immigrant and refugee neighbors

photo courtesy: Bea Ibarra

Posted by Devin Tressler in Culturally Connected, Outreach, 0 comments