Editorial: April 2021

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Surprise! It’s our student-missionary edition, a chance for us to shine a spotlight on the remarkable young adults who have dedicated a year of their lives (or two or more!) to travelling to the farthest corners of the earth to befriend the unreached and point them to their Savior.

As you read the articles in this issue, you will see that surprise is a familiar sensation to our student and short-term missionaries. In fact, in SM life, I think it’s safe to say that nearly every failure and triumph—every valley and mountaintop, every lesson learned and every friend won—comes wrapped in a surprise. Here is a small sampling:

Janna and Jacki were surprised when they were pranked by a seven-year-old (p. 4).

Vanessa was surprised when God sent her a Thai grandma for a workout partner and friend (p. 13).

Jared was surprised when God provided a grass hut in place of a stable (p. 14).

Laressa was surprised at how deeply her Palawano friends bonded with her (p. 20).

Sydney was surprised at a little boy’s boundless joy when she made him a paper airplane (p. 22).

The entire Central Thai Project was surprised when God sent them an SM architect before they knew they needed one (p. 26).

Marcus was surprised at how deeply a young girl was touched when he took her picture (p. 30).

Daniel was surprised by malaria and surprised again by an out-of-the-blue ministry opportunity (p. 34).

Do you like surprises? Then you should pray about giving a year to student missions. But one thing should not surprise you: Your life will never be the same again.