William Carey once said, “I’m not afraid of failure; I’m afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.” For Mansfield junior, Dakota Langford, the one thing that matters most is spreading the word of God around the world. Langford was recently presented with the opportunity of a lifetime to attend a week-long mission trip to Madrid, Spain. First Students (the student ministry of First Baptist Monticello) is partnering with other churches around the state on what is called a GO Impact trip with the International Mission Board (IMB). GO Impact trips were created by the IMB specifically for youth to be sent to spread the Gospel. The IMB is a Christian missionary society affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention(SBC). During this trip, they will be working with ESL students of all ages and backgrounds.
When Langford was just fifteen years old, he made the life-changing decision to devote his life to Christ. “I had gone to church when I was younger but I never had a real spiritual encounter until the summer of 2021,” stated Langford. “I chose this path because I was going through a hard time. My mental health wasn’t the best and I was living a life I shouldn’t have been living. I decided to go to FCA camp and try out the Jesus stuff. While I was there I had an encounter with God and that’s when I decided to surrender my life to him!”
Currently, a member of Abbott Baptist Church, Langford explains the pressures faced by being a teenage Christian. “I’d say it’s the hardest time to ever be a Christian. We live in a time where they try to take God out of everything and cancel you if you speak against their agenda. The added stress of all the electronics and technology also can make it very difficult.” These are just a few of the reasons why Dakota has it in his heart to attend this mission trip to Spain. “I surrendered to my call to the ministry last year and this past summer at Camp Siloam, the Lord laid it upon my heart to go on a mission trip. I talked with my mom and she talked to my aunt. My aunt then talked to my uncle Warren, who serves on the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, and they connected me with a group that would be partaking in a mission trip to Spain. After some conversations with my parents, I finally convinced them to let me go!”
“I am extremely proud of him,” exclaims Jennifer Langford, mother to Dakota. “Nothing makes a momma’s heart happier than to see her child living for the Lord. Dakota grew up going to AWANAs and then as a teenager he started attending church with his friend Travis. The summer of 2021 is when I feel like his life changed though. He attended FCA camp. When he came home from camp he was a changed person. The Lord really touched his life there. A few weeks after that he attended camp Siloam with Abbott Baptist Church. While he was there he attended a call to ministry seminar. That summer made a huge impact on his life and his faith. This is when I realized he was passionate about serving and living for the Lord. God has big plans for him!”
His walk with God doesn’t end with this mission trip to Spain though. After high school, Langford plans to become a preacher, walking in God’s will for his life and ministry. “My biggest goal is to make true Christians in this next generation. Our world and country need a Revival and I hope that God will use me to help bring in a lot of people.”
As a teen called to ministry, this is a wonderful experience and opportunity. Langford is currently taking donations to help assist with air travel and other expenses for the trip. A GoFundMe link has been added below. “Any donation will be greatly appreciated,” says Langford. “I’m very excited about the opportunity that I have been given. Please keep me and the small group that will be taking part in this great mission to Spain, in your prayers.”