updated December 2013:
TRINIDAD – “I never had thought of mission work before in my life and honestly, probably would have never gone if it was not a requirement at Asbury. I put off this requirement almost to the last minute, but I know this was the ideal time for me to go so God could call me to serve in another country more permanently. If I would have gone on a trip even a year ago instead of now, I do not think I would have been okay with hearing that I have been called to serve as an occupational therapist in another country.” -- Karli Lichtenberger, Graduated Senior ’13, Crystal Falls, MI
PUERTO RICO – “This trip was nothing but a blessing. Not only did we get to build our relationship amongst ourselves, but work together to serve for God’s glory. Seeing each camper improve daily at the [volleyball] camps was such an awesome experience, especially the much younger players. I loved every part of this trip, even though sleep was at the bottom of the list. I can’t wait to see what else God has in store for us as a team and how else we will represent Christ.” – Catherine Starr, Sophomore, Lexington, KY
PANAMA – “The whole experience of being in Panama has completely changed the way I see myself, America, the world, and God. Coming to the realization that my reality is not true for most of the world certainly did a work on my moral development in accepting that in this moment while I write this paper, there are children starving, people dying without knowing the glory of God, and there are those striving to be a servant of the Lord in hostile areas.
Being able to experience what it will be like to one day eventually attempt to marry the world of psychology to Christianity on the mission field is an opportunity that I am excited to participate in. One of the first things I became keenly aware of was the high rate of infidelity and marriage separation thus leading to child rebellion. Having the chance to meet with an American missionary in Panama, Steven, I was able to better understand what it was like to be a counselor in Panama. Marriage and family counseling was his specialty and the most common counseling subject was divorce.
What I did not understand before I spent six weeks in Panama was the fact that Panama does not need a young, educated, American female to come in and take over. What they needed, and wanted, was to have a true, genuine relationship with someone that they trusted truly cared about their life, health, and spirit.
While I was in Panama, I did not need to fill my life with useless things that just fade away. Instead, I spent my time focusing on building relationships and spending more time with God. I had a lot of time on my own and surprisingly enough, I never felt lonely. I, for the first time in my walk with Christ, learned what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus.” – Jessica Stephens, Graduated Senior ’13, Athens, TN
EUROPE – “One feels very small when comparing yourself to the mass of life going on in the world around you. To really grasp the idea that you and every single person you have even known are less than one percent of the total population is very humbling. Suddenly the troubles at my school or work seem very miniscule. When I hear about the protests taking place in Egypt or Brazil, Libya or Syria, it’s no longer just a reporter or a statistic telling the story. I am confronted with the overwhelming sense of meaning in knowing that those numbers are actual people with real feelings, stories, and experiences that lead them to that point. No matter where you live, it is overwhelming to learn how small you really are. The intertwining of our lives is so intricate, it is unfathomable.” – Will McBride, Junior, Orange Beach, AL
SPAIN – “One of the most rewarding friendships I gained [while studying abroad] was with an Austrian student named Niki. She was studying at the University of Sevilla, and we met through a Christian Bible study for international students and connected right away. Niki knows a lot of English, but we primarily communicated in Spanish. She was a great encouragement to my faith and a really wonderful person to know. I learned that there is so much in common between people who have very different cultures. It also completely affirmed why I chose Spanish to study—without this language knowledge, I would never have been able to love and communicate with my friends Alejandro, Isabel, and Niki. Looking back, I was so closed-minded to the idea of making international friends; I didn’t think I would care to know them or we wouldn’t have anything in common. I am so glad the Lord put these people in my life and I was able to spend time with them and learn to love them for who they are.
I now have a greater desire to live abroad, but also a greater understanding of how different—and how rewarding—it can be. I have seen how the blessing of the Lord is so much fuller than what I could have asked for, and how he is a generous God who gives good gifts to his children. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have lived abroad, and the appreciation it has given me of the sweetness of new places and the pull of a home.” -- Amber Parsons, Senior, Gilbert, AZ
SENEGAL – “I learned that God can use anyone to do his work. Even if the person doesn’t know the local language very well or has no idea what they’re doing in the mission field. If the person has a heart for God and wants to passionately show Christ’s love to those around them, God will use them, in simple or extravagant ways. God is calling me to be a missionary in a village and I hope to start my own form of basic education schools for the local villagers so that they have access to the education they deserve to have.” – Kortnie Walters, Sophomore, Arvada, CO
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