After Oshkosh, missionaries will help run the food truck and hold programs for the Detroit community.
The Lake Union’s Public Campus Ministries (PCM) program is planning to join the General Conference (GC) of Seventh-day Adventists’ “One Year in Mission” program with a unique form of ministry: a food truck.
The One Year in Mission program is operational in a number of divisions within the Adventist World Church. The initiative is focused on reaching the unreached through ministry with the help of volunteer missionaries, building centers of influence, particularly in large cities. Although other divisions have been engaging with this program, Lake Union Public Campus Ministries coordinator, Israel Ramos, says that it has been less active in the North American Division. The Lake Union, which is the only NAD Union that has organized a union-level public campus ministry, is hoping to get the ball rolling with this initiative in the North American Division.
Public Campus Ministries, which focuses on Adventist outreach on public university campuses within the Lake Union, particularly wants to involve young adults with a “passion for ministry” to take a year off and serve as missionaries with PCM. “[The missionaries] will help run the food truck, and help engage in the community and hold programs for the community. We’re going to combine this One Year in Mission with the food truck. The idea is to also use it as a way to train missionaries to do a modern approach to mission,” Ramos explains. Public Campus Ministries is aiming to receive these missionaries within the Lake Union in 2020‒2021.
"We have found that food is the most critical part of our ministry, outside of Bible study,” Ramos says. Public Campus Ministries is debuting their new food truck at Oshkosh 2019. This is part of an “experimental phase,” Ramos explains. It will help PCM to know whether this idea is viable, how popular it may be, and help to perfect logistics of the operation. If the food truck is successful at Oshkosh, Ramos continues, the vision is to launch it in Detroit, PCM’s next focus in growing their center of influence. “The city of Detroit is one of the largest cities in our Union, outside of Chicago,” Ramos says. “It has the third largest university in Michigan. It has an inner-city population, it has a wealthy population, it has a strong Muslim population, and all of these are significantly unreached people groups in the North American Division. We felt this was a great place to start a center of influence.” If they find success in Detroit, PCM hopes to expand the food truck ministry into a “mobile center of influence” by spreading to other cities and, potentially, obtaining more food trucks.
The upcoming GC session will be held next summer in Indianapolis. Ramos said that it is hoped that this first step at Oshkosh serves as a launching pad for more engagement on college campuses in the Lake Union. “We’re using that as an opportunity to be able to give this more promotion, give it a little bit more attention and, by God’s grace, give us a success story for the North American model.”
Ramos appeals for prayers for this food truck ministry as part of the One Year in Mission program. More information is available here.
Andrews University journalism graduate Shannon Kelly serves as a freelance writer.