Dear Friends,

Have you ever been curious if global, long-term missions is something God is calling you to but don’t know where to start? Every fall the EPC launches a Mission Cohort, a year-long program where college-age young adults meet over Zoom for interaction with like-minded peers, missionaries on the field, and EPC World Outreach mobilizers. This cohort has been valuable for many students, but not everyone has a linear journey to missions. Whether you have felt the call to missions your entire life, you find the idea new and intriguing, or you simply want the opportunity to explore, the Mission Cohort is a great place to start.

I first discovered the EPC World Outreach Mission Cohort for college students on a dreary day in December of my freshman year. This was a space for college students seeking guidance and community as they explored a calling or interest in missions. Missions wasn’t a new idea for me. I’d felt a soft tug towards missions on my heart all throughout my childhood. But as I left for college, it was all but a backup plan in case the rest of my life didn’t work out. By the time I was chowing down on my lunch as my friend rattled on about this “special club” she was in, missions wasn’t even a speck on the horizon of my great plan for myself.

I’d had a wonderful semester that year—I had all A’s, was climbing the departmental ladder for my major in archaeology, and could see myself becoming a renowned author, a savvy businesswoman, a daring archaeologist, or an adventuring world traveler. I could see myself doing anything and everything— everything except missions.

Even as I sat at a cafe table and listened to my now best friend tell me about the Mission Cohort she had joined, my mind fixed, not on the purpose of the cohort, but on the opportunity to travel and check another box off my list of successful life necessities. She was getting to travel to the Middle East that year, a dream of mine. I immediately told her to hook me up with “this cohort thing.” I wanted to get off this darn continent!

Thankfully she did, because though my heart was anywhere but the right place, God has changed and saved my life and faith through this beautiful group of people. The following semester, after seeing the many pictures she and her cohort returned with, I belatedly joined Mission Cohort 3 (MC3). We met monthly over Zoom with kids my age from all over the country. We prayed together, studied a book together, and met and interviewed EPC missionaries with all sorts of backstories and advice.

If you asked the other members of MC3, they would tell you that I was quiet, disinterested, and never caught up on our book readings. That spring semester of my freshman year, I returned to school ready to thrive as I had that past fall. Over that semester, however, I began to slow down, mentally, physically, and even academically. Sleep became sparse, my mind felt scrambled and blurry, and my motivation to do anything plummeted. I stopped going to church, I couldn’t feel God, and I didn’t want him. I began to hate myself. To hate my existence, my personality, and my body. I wanted to die, to be released to the heaven that I knew was better than this.

Throughout it all, we had our cohort meetings. Month after month. Zoom after Zoom. The cohort had no idea of the darkness clouding my mind, but they gathered around me anyway and prayed with me. Together we walked through God’s word and heard story after story about his steadfast faithfulness. When I was too broken and weak to make it to church or to look to God, this beautiful community brought the Church to me. They showed me the mercy and love of God each month through a screen full of prayer, laughter, and hope.

That summer, I was diagnosed with Severe Clinical Depression, a disease of the mind in which your own thoughts lie and hiss in your ear, wreaking havoc and destruction on your life and soul. Yet the beautiful thing is that winter, as I stood with my cohort in person at the Urbana conference in Indianapolis, I looked around at the faces I’d once only known in 2D that past year and saw that in that dark valley of death and hopelessness, where I’d refused to look for God and cursed his absence, he’d never let go of me. He’d surrounded me with his image, his people to hold my hand and bring me home to him. In my pride and surety of my life plans, he’d reminded me that my life is not my own, that I am not alone, and that he’d never been that far away. When I’d thought I’d had my life all figured out, he gently reminded me what life is like without him and broke through my stubborn heart to open my eyes to his wondrous glory, his redeeming grace, and abounding mercy.

I’ve since not only started attending church again but also entered part-time ministry while I finish school and pursue long-term missions. I have had the blessing and pleasure to watch as four of my fellow cohort members prepare to be commissioned as long-term missionaries. I did get to travel with the cohort at last, though not to the Middle East, and with a much more humble and grateful heart and all the greater experience for it.

As a cohort alumna, I am forever grateful and indebted to my experience with this community. Mission Cohorts, whether you join to learn how to become a missionary, how to support missionaries, or even for the selfish purpose of getting a plane ticket, will always be a community of disciples walking alongside disciples, through the tough crossroads of college and on to eternity.

– E. A., MC3 Alumna

E’s experience with the cohort was unique and full of challenges, but God used it powerfully in her life, both for her own healing and for solidifying her call to missions. Sometimes our ministry results turn out differently than we expect. But in our obedience to what God calls us to, he uses our ministry for his purposes. We are called to serve faithfully and entrust the long-term impact to him.

Want to see what it is all about?

EPC World Outreach will kick off Mission Cohort Six (MC6) on August 19, 2024! Now is the time for college-age to sign up and start getting connected with our cohort leadership team. Whether you hope to be a missionary going to the field one day or simply want to be engaged in missions from the U.S., the invitation is open! Students will go through discipleship materials and have in-person experiences including attending a missions conference over the winter and a mission trip during the following summer. Anyone that’s interested can go to and fill out the cohort form, or contact Saul Huber at or 217-851-4670.

Upcoming Opportunities for You and Your Congregation

Pray for WO Workers

Join the EPC World Outreach Prayer Network to care for our workers through intercession. To join the network, click here.

Support WO Workers

Click the SUPPORT button for the WO worker support landing page.

Partner with a Mission Cohort

Learn more, apply, and get connected with Saul Huber here.

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