Shannon knows firsthand that it can be easy to feel small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things. But as she shares in her books, one girl is all it takes to start making a difference. Many churches have ministries teens can get involved in, and Shannon would encourage you first and foremost to get involved in your local church. Teach a Sunday school class for children, volunteer at Vacation Bible School or go on a missions trip with your youth group.
If, for some reason, those opportunities aren't available to you, you may want to consider partnering with one of the ministries below so you can start maximizing your potential and make a global impact today!
Shannon and Michael Primicerio partner with Compassion to sponsor Issouf, a little boy living in Burkina Faso (West Africa) and Robert, a college student at Kenyatta University in Kenya, Africa. Both Robert and Issouf live in extreme poverty and daily necessities that we tend to take for granted such as food, clothing, education and spare change are rare commodities for them and many like them. Even if you aren't able to travel the globe in person in order to make an impact, your monthly support money and personal letters could make a real difference in the life of an impoverished child.
In the summer of 2006, Shannon and Michael had their first opportunity to join Susie Shellenberger and the BRIO team for their annual missions trip. They spent two weeks in Lima, Peru ministering alongside of several hundred teenagers and saw God do amazing things among the poorest of the poor in Peru. Through drama, street evangelism, visits to local schools and community outreaches the BRIO team was able to make a lasting impact on the Peruvian people and on each other. This trip is for any teen looking to make some new friends and change the world at the same time.
When Shannon and Michael went on the BRIO trip in the summer of 2006, the logistics were handled by Big World Ventures. In addition to facilitating the BRIO trip, Big World also organizes several other trips to different parts of the world each year. If the dates (or location) of the BRIO trip don't work for you (or for your parents) you may want to consider signing up to go on a Big World trip. You can sign up to go with a group you don't know, or you can encourage your youth pastor to let Big World facilitate a trip for your youth group.
As a student at Biola University, Shannon was able to take a short term missions class that included a visit to a YWAM base in Mexico. There she learned all about their various DTS' (Discipleship Training Schools) that take place all over the world. A six-month commitment, a DTS is a great option for a recent high school graduate who may not be sure what she wants to do with her life. For those who are still in school, YWAM also offers two week short terms trips for those interested in making a global impact while on their summer vacation.
On a regular basis, Shannon receives emails from people all over the world who read her books and are impacted by them. Recently she received an email from a man in Cambodia who happened across a copy of God Called a Girl in a pile of books being given away on a Mercy Ship and Shannon's interest in the ministry was piqued. Mercy Ships offer a specialized approach to short term missions by offering much needed medical care in some of the poorest parts of the world. They offer trips from two weeks to a year, and will give teens a front row seat to experience what it means for the blind to see and the lame to walk. In the event that you cannot participate on a Mercy Ships trip you can also give financially to the work God is doing through them.
Remember, there is more than one way to make a global impact for Christ. Sometimes it involves going and doing something hands on. Other times, it involves giving of your resources (money, clothing, etc...). Shannon's global perspective began at an early age as her dad used to take her on the regular church missions trips to an orphanage in Mexico. Before each trip Shannon always packed up some of her clothes and toys that weren't being used much by her, and she stood amazed at the throng of grateful kids who were eager to have her old stuff.
Don't be discouraged if your parents seem to think global missions is out of the question for you. When she was only fifteen Shannon's heart was stirred to join her youth group on a missions trip to Eastern Europe. At first, her mom wasn't thrilled with the idea. But as Shannon prayed, and trusted God to open doors, her mom's heart softened and Shannon was able to go. And she is still involved with God's work globally to this day.