Pastor Mark Todd is Lead Pastor at New Life Church in Orlando, Florida. Located near the University of Central Florida, New Life serves as a church home for many college students.
In addition, He and his wife have been in ministry for over 30 years and have been in Orlando as senior pastors for five.
Student missions began when Pastor Mark took his first group of students to Haiti in 2015. While there, The Lord laid it on his heart to find three places to be a part of the ongoing ministry of missions. He knew that students needed to have an opportunity to be exposed to the missions field.
Pastor Mark explains, “When coming to New Life with our diverse culture, I wanted to do something with our students that they can be a part of.” Students may not be able to make a significant impact in world missions financially but they want to be involved.
Student Missions Experience
To continue the vision for exposing students to the missions field, Pastor Mark took a missions team to Trinidad in 2016. New Life partnered with the Orphan Run 4 Hope project- a network of 50 orphanages around the world. Pastor Mark explains, “We started to do a 5k Run fundraising for Orphan Run 4 Hope and have since been able to partner with them to take mission trips to places where they have orphanages.” The Lord then confirmed to Pastor Mark that this was the route for New Life church.
This May, Students were able to lead five evangelistic services and serve at an orphanage for kids in Georgetown, Guyana. They made an impact on youth and adults by sharing their personal testimonies. Pastor Mark shares, “The best part about going on mission trips has been to watch people come out of their comfort zones. To have them share their testimonies and use their gifts for God.” People’s lives are touched and testimonies offer hope to those going through a difficult time.
New Life Church partnered with the YWEA Cota Project to take a group to Cota, Columbia in July. They worked with a girl’s safe house that has been operating for 15 years. There is a big need to be rescued there and the girl’s safe house helps take in girls orphaned, abandoned, and susceptible to falling into sex trade. Pastor Mark shares, “There are many success stories of girls being taken in and raised there.” The people love that someone would care enough to come and share Jesus.
New Life Church will continue to partner with Orphan Run 4 Hope with monetary support and also going in to work, minister and volunteer at these orphanages.
“I feel a calling from God to help introduce missions to another generation. By going in physically, their life is forever changed.”
“I feel a calling from God to help introduce missions to another generation. By going in physically, their life is forever changed.” Pastor Mark continues, “It goes beyond the work that can be done in a week’s time. You build relationships with others. When you take a missions trip your global view changes. You become a part of the Great Commission and have an impact on advancing The Kingdom.”
In conclusion, Pastor Mark encourages anyone who has a chance to go on a missions trip. It made such a difference in his life and has made a profound impact on his family and ministry. The trip to Columbia consisted of senior citizens, middle age, and college students. Whatever age you are, if you have the ability to do so and if you are drawn to go, God will provide the resources. Take a step of faith and do it.
Lastly, God will provide. If God calls you, allow Him to make a way.
You can Learn more about the Orphan Run 4 Hope Project here.