updated February 2014:
GREECE – “Recently, Christianity in Europe has been in serious and significant decline. Many churches in Greece are bringing in new believers but lack the leadership to disciple them. As our group prayed for the trip, we felt that shift in European churches was coming and that Paul’s Macedonian call was relevant today. The call to Macedonia does not require a multitude of North American missionaries but rather a few teachers who are willing to equip and teach Greeks how to lead their nation.
During my trip to Greece, God gave me a vision for my future career and how I could utilize my education to help others around the world. I’ve always had an interest in other cultures but never the desire to serve as a long-term missionary. As the trip progressed, I felt that God was redefining my definition of what it meant to be a missionary. While I had once thought missionaries were just pastors in a foreign land, I now saw that a missionary could also be involved in the public sector of life as well. When I graduate from Asbury University, I will have a degree in Political Science and Sociology, and I hope to use this degree to work in international law. Someday, I would like to work at the U.S. Embassy in Thessaloniki. A job at the U.S. Embassy would allow me to minister to the Greeks around me and make good use out of the education I received from Asbury University. After traveling to Greece multiple times, my love for the people and the country has grown, and I would be honored to serve with my brothers and sisters in Christ in Greece.
The people of Greece are eager to learn and reach their nation, but they need someone to come along and help them, much like Paul did in Acts 16. Greece needs a number of people who are well versed in the Word of God to equip Greek Christians so that they can reach their nation. I was fortunate to go on this trip, and I am blessed by all that God taught me through His church in Greece.” – Katherine Hickey, Sophomore, Sioux Falls, SD
KENYA & ETHIOPIA – “I pray I gain another opportunity to return to Kenya because of that feeling of happiness I got while with the kids there and that feeling of joy when I see the eyes of a child I helped bring to the Lord. I want to love like those kids love and be as happy and content as they are every day. I am so thankful to have had this opportunity and for Asbury in making me have to take this opportunity when I did because it couldn’t have come at a better time in my life and in my daily spiritual growth.” – Taylor Kool, Senior, Norfolk, VA
COSTA RICA – “Days passed and soon it was Saturday morning, the day we were slated to help with a homeless ministry in San Jose. Normally, this would not have frightened me, but the thought of having so many people around me, asking for so many things in a language that I could not understand was daunting. We arrived at the park where the ministry took place, and unloaded to first hear a short message before distributing sandwiches and coffee to those homeless men and women who had come that day. As I handed sandwiches down the row, I soon realized that all I really needed to know how to say was ‘de nada’ or ‘con gusto’ in response to their ‘gracias.’ This single moment sparked a realization that despite all of my fear and anxiety, all it took was a simple gesture of kindness to bridge the gap between myself and those in the homeless ministry, and to realize that, really, maybe this trip was not going to be as frightening as I had imagined.” – Devon Zweifel, Senior, Wilmore, KY
TRINIDAD – “One of the biggest impacts this trip had was to show me how beautiful all of God’s people are. I went into the trip expecting to help change people, and I guess I thought really highly of who I was. However, God really opened my eyes that these people have a lot to show me about who He is. A favorite memory of mine is watching the people in the church worship. I looked in the crowd and there was a very elderly, fragile woman that was wearing her 'Sunday best' and a hat that was far too big for her. She was waving her hands in the air and shouting the music very off key. When I saw her, I unashamedly wept at the beauty of this woman and her heart for the Creator.” – Heather Wantland, Senior, Howard, OH
IRELAND – “At the start of my trip I had no idea how this experience was going to impact my life. Going to Ireland and attending the Achill Island field school was going to either confirm or change my mind about being an archaeologist. I learned so much within the one week in which I was there than I would have in a semester…. After my return journey, I had the chance to talk to my parents about my experience. I decided to pursue archaeology as a career and to go ahead and apply to graduate school. I also decided to look into more opportunities to get experience, and to pray.” – Sarah Henley, Senior, Columbus, OH
HAITI – “One thing that touched me was one evening I bought some bags of chips. For one U.S. dollar we received 7 bags. I took them back to campus and passed out a few bags to the team, then I had a few extra. I ended up giving one girl a bag, and instead of running away and taking the whole bag for herself, she divided it up equally between all the kids sitting there. That was something that was hard to comprehend. This little girl who was not getting enough food to begin with, took the food that was all hers and shared it between all the kids. It was something that is hard to put into words. I believe this is one reason why the people there are so happy, because everyone is willing to help other people no matter who they are.
Overall, I think this trip affected my life and the way I look at life in general. From the time we got there until the time we left, I could feel God moving. I felt like our team overcame all of the challenges put in front of us. I could tell by the time we got on the plane to come home that God had moved in my life that week. Haiti is a place that for the rest of my life will hold a very special place in my heart. This experience has made me want to do another overseas mission trip and possibly live overseas for an extended period after college.” - Parker Touchton, Freshman, Ashland, KY
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