updated November 2014:

TRINIDAD“A challenge or life lesson I have from this mission trip is sharing and also receiving Christ’s love.  I was there on the mission trip to proclaim Christ’s story and also share the love of Christ to the precious children in Trinidad at VBS each day.  Lately since January I have had a rough time sharing the love and joy of Christ with others because of losing a close second father to me.  He was the one who impacted my life about doing Christ’s ministry work. This mission trip to Trinidad has impacted and changed my life in several ways and I am glad that I was able to go.  I cannot wait to see where God will lead me in the near future doing full time youth ministry work overseas.” – Kirsten Joss, Senior, Louisville, KY

SPAIN – “My favorite cathedral was the one we visited in Toledo.  I was always taken aback by how enormous the cathedrals are compared to our American churches and the intricacy in the stonework that adorns the towers and walls.  There was gold that covered the main altar, which shows how the builders knew that God is greater than even gold and deserves our best.  All of the murals, gold, and sculpture work together to create a sense of awe and reverence in the viewer.  The most awe inspiring part was ‘The Ascension,’ which was said to be one of the Christian works of art in Spain.” – Emily Hellstrom, Senior, Schaumburg, ILInternational Globe

USA, Miami, FL – “One of my greatest challenges but also my greatest joy was communicating with the people there.  The majority of the people I encountered spoke primarily Spanish.  I carefully listened to all they said and worked hard to speak and respond correctly to them.  For three days I volunteered in a pregnancy crisis center.  All the ladies there were Hispanic and graciously helped me as I practiced my Spanish. If there was something I didn’t understand, they would explain it in English or say it slowly in Spanish until it made sense.  I believe they were pleasantly amused at my attempts to speak in their language, yet they were always helpful and encouraging as I worked through the difficult parts of conversations.  I grew accustomed to hearing Spanish being spoken around me and by the end of the week it didn’t feel as ‘foreign.’ This also deepened my appreciation for the language and made me realize how much I love it.  I found that there’s something quite powerful about being able to speak with people in a different language.  It truly helps create bonds of friendship and understanding and helps one cross the invisible boundaries between cultures.

I also had the opportunity to visit an autistic Hispanic boy’s therapeutic riding lesson.  When I first heard that I would have the opportunity to do this, I was very excited because I am an equine major and love seeing how horses benefit the lives of people.  The instructor allowed me to walk alongside them as she worked to engage the little boy’s mind and body through the movement of the horse.  I had never watched such a one-on-one therapy session before and was inspired by the instructor’s patience and persistence as she helped him move and speak.  I was also awed by the caring nature of the pony who worked so hard to be good with the boy on his back.  It was as if he knew just how precious this boy was.” – Anna Leigh Andrews, Senior, Elizabeth, CO

ALBANIA – “My faith in God was stretched and taken to another level from this cross cultural experience.  I had never had to trust God to supply that amount of money for me and especially not in that short time frame.  I had to learn to hand over the fear of the unknown to God concerning flying, communicating to those who spoke a different language than I, and sharing about Jesus boldly even though I don’t know a lot about the Bible.  God was so faithful and I am so glad He blessed me to have this experience.  God has truly confirmed and made it more than clear to me that He has called me to do mission.” – Tekila Johnson, Junior, Lexington, KY

MADAGASCAR“The thing that never ceased to amaze me about Madagascar was that in all my time there visiting churches and meeting other believers, not once did I meet one who was a lukewarm Christian.  If only the majority of American Christians lived for the Lord as the true Malagasy believers do!  This trip was incredible because not only did I get to see our team making an impact on the people there, but the people there made an impact on me.  I grew in many ways on this trip.  I grew much closer to God through the daily hour of devotions, the learning sessions with the leaders, and the fact that each day was devoted entirely to God’s service. There is something truly amazing about being able to devote a full two months entirely to God. 

During the whole trip, I had no contact with the outside world expect through the occasional letter.  This meant that there were very few distractions there to take away my time and energy.  Over the course of our time there, I challenged myself to completely do away with being lukewarm.  I promised God that I would never return to being a lukewarm Christian.  And while I have struggled with it some since then, my goal is still the same.  I want to be able to live every day of my life as I did in Madagascar.  This is what encouraged me to come to Asbury as an Adventure Leadership major with a missions minor.  I hope to be able to serve God to the best of my ability, using the talents that He has given me.  I plan to finish my degree and then see where He takes me after that.  This trip taught me to always be open to the prompts of God.” – Hunter Hebenstreit, Sophomore, Braselton, GA

FRANCE & ENGLAND “Being able to be a part of this trip was an incredible experience.  I would have never imagined I would have this opportunity.  So many of the places and sights that I saw on my trip, I have only dreamed about.  There is an abundance of history in both Paris and London, and it is so fascinating.  Along with the history, the culture of the people was fascinating to observe.  I loved seeing what stereotypes were real and which were exaggerated.  This trip taught me so much about the culture, religion, history of both London and Paris, and it has created a lingering thirst to know more about the culture, religion, and history of both cities.”  -- Chelsea Bartlett, Sophomore, Nicholasville, KY

Check back each month to view more inspiring words from our students!