Every year BMS Action Teams group 18 to 25 year-olds together to spend six months on overseas missions involving projects, and getting alongside real people in real situations. The teams' primary function is to give, but very often they also receive just as much back from those they are trying to inspire.
Talking about the 2003-2004 mission in Kolkata, one member said, "We saw a small group of the children on the streets. They didn't ask for money but ran up and hugged us. When you remember that these children have been brought up by their parents to beg, especially from 'rich Westeners', this meant so much to us. It shows that they have accepted us as friends and people who care rather than just tourists to get money from."
A team member in Uganda that worked with churches and schools in towns and villages said, "We have met so many truly inspiring people, who may not own much materially but have such a strong faith in God. I'm sure we've learnt a lot more from them than they have from us. It has been great to have an opportunity to encourage these churches."
Whilst working with young people in Trinidad a member said, "Sometimes people are too quick to write the children off as hopeless. These children have probably had more life experience than us, so while we hope we are inspiring them, they are also inspiring us to open our eyes to what the world is like. We really hope that we have been able to show them some of God's love through our work with them."
There are nine Action Teams that will embark upon an eight-week UK tour in May and June and they will continue to change lives with their home missions too.
Another member testified, "From the moment the people spoke about the work they'd done I was completely over-awed by how much God had impacted each of their lives and the way in which he'd called them to do the work they did. I left the meeting realising for the first time in my life just how much God wants to be at the centre of our lives. From there I gave my life to Him. Lives are touched by what the Action Teams say; mine was no exception."