GRACIAS, HONDURAS – Five Texas college students engaged in a cross-cultural experience this summer designed to help them understand more clearly God’s calling on their lives. TBM’s Vision Quest discipleship experience exposed them to first-hand missions, biblical study and spiritual decision-making.
“With each passing day, I found myself delving deeper into God’s Word, and it felt like His voice was resonating within my very soul,” Yamileth Guzman, a Baptist University of the Américas student wrote in the Baptist Standard. “The Scriptures came alive in ways I never had experienced before, as if God was speaking directly to my heart.”
Preston Cave, TBM’s discipleship and missions coordinator, began shaping Vision Quest in 2008. “The idea came to me when my wife and I would talk about her Mormon upbringing and how they had a missionary program for all high school students. … Through those conversations, God would give me ideas. I would write notes and tweak them. I continued to read books and thought more about it.”
When Cave joined the TBM staff the idea became a reality. In June 2021, he took the first group to Honduras and then returned with groups last year and this year. These groups were open to anyone, but TBM also is planning Vision Quest events to other sites for specific church and ministry groups that would like for their staff or students to have a group discipleship and missions experience together.
“My hope,” Cave said, “is that we eventually could have multiple camps and or church residency programs use Vision Quest in a similar way. Then we would only need to have somebody from TBM go on a trip with their group and facilitate the Vision Quest process.” There is also the possibility of TBM hosting what will be called VQ Local at churches.
“My hope is for camps, churches and other Christian organizations to look at Vision Quest trips as a great way to invest in the spiritual development of their leadership teams,” Cave said. “TBM can customize a Vision Quest specific to the needs of the group, even providing facilitators and the general content of the trips.”
Everything about Vision Quest is driven by a discipleship purpose.
“If Jesus is to be the King of our lives, we should give Him an opportunity to speak into our future,” Cave said. “Vision Quest allows this to take place in an environment of missions and discipleship."
This is why the five students and Cave headed to Honduras. Cave had the discipleship training plan to dispense, and TBM partnered with 61 Isaiah Ministries to provide the missions experience.
"Vision Quest is designed to turn our attention towards Jesus in a way that brings clarity to our life,” Cave said. “ God has wired each of us in different ways for various reasons. Through the local missionaries, as well as a TBM life-mapping process, Vision Quest helps participants develop an individual life plan based on our unique gifts and talents.
“Students who go on a Vision Quest encounter inspirational teaching from local missionaries, as well as discover how they are uniquely wired for life and ministry,” he said.
Each student participating in the July Vision Quest was from a large Texas city, “so going to Honduras was a retreat from life,” said Faith Dawood, a Dallas Baptist University student who participated. “God allowed our hearts to slow down. We could pray for one another, ponder about life and God’s call, learn from trusted people working in ministry and serve the community.”
Every morning started with a teaching session about important aspects of a person’s walk with the Lord as a young adult. This included how to take Sabbath and how to maintain a good mental, spiritual, emotional and physical body so you’re able to serve the Lord fully. Additionally, the students talked about how important it is to know God’s heart so they can know how to serve.
After teaching and sharing sessions ended, students would go out into the city with 61 Isaiah Ministries and participate in hands-on ministry. They went into a local village and played sports with kids who didn’t have toys. They visited Ruben House, which helps injured people who do not have the financial means to secure medical equipment and treatment.
VQ students also shared their testimonies via a Honduran Christian radio station. 61 Isaiah Ministries leaders explained to the students that many people have accepted Christ because of the various testimonies shared on the station.
With the small group size, the team bonded with one another quickly, Dawood said. “The design of the trip allows students to speak into one another’s lives. … Often, you don’t see the qualities and gifts God has given you until you are told by others. This is where the Lord spoke through participants the most, and we learned about one another’s lives.”
Cave called Vision Quest “a Mary trip, not a Martha trip. If you decide to go on a Vision Quest, allow yourself to rest and learn with the Lord,” he said.
The VQ focus has been on college students, but “Vision Quest is for every person,” Cave said. “If you are a believer in Christ, then you are called to do something. If you want to seek the Lord in what to do and how you are wired, then Vision Quest is for you. My hope is that every Christian in Texas will one day have an opportunity to go on their own personal Vision Quest."