updated July 2014:
THAILAND – “If I have learned anything in the whole of my cross-cultural experience, it is that getting out of the country is far more informative and influential than merely reading or hearing about it. This has been one of the most exciting endeavors I have ever ventured on, and I really hope to come back some day bringing more family and friends with me.” – Noah Malcolm, Graduated 05/14, Jackson, MI
RUSSIA – “Being from Asbury helped me to witness and be a light to several of my co-workers at my venue in Sochi. Many of them were Russians and many of them were Canadians (I worked in the ice hockey venue, “Balshoy Ice Dome”), and some asked me how I got the opportunity to come work at the Olympics. I told them I was from Asbury, a small Christian college in Kentucky, and that Jim Owens with OBS was my professor (many of them knew exactly who he was). Just from that little bit of information, they were able to gather that I was a Christian and thus, a door was opened for discussion. What a great experience that was for me. Everything was fabulous and I wish I could re-live the entire experience!” – Jake Slaughter, Graduated 05/14, Lexington, KY
COSTA RICA – “The impact that this mission trip had on me was immense. I felt that this journey took my relationship with God to a whole new level of intimacy by showing me what I can do to change people’s lives, not only physically but also spiritually. I feel that the examples of the people I met there made the most difference in my attitude, the fact that they did not have anything worth boasting about yet they praised the Lord with every breath they breathed. That example inspired me to change my mindset and live in the moment and thank God for every second He gives me. I also feel that God is calling me to go on more mission trips throughout my life especially these next few years while I am still in college. The Lord has also challenged me to hold myself to a higher level of integrity while fighting Satan with Scripture and with His strength. I would definitely recommend that everyone go on a mission trip at least once in their life so that they may experience what many people already know to be true.” - Caleb Woodard, Sophomore, Elkhart, IN
KENYA – “I fell in love with a stereotype of Africa a long time ago. Childhood tales of exploration into dense jungles, journeys across barren deserts, and pictures of life outside of time were riveting to me. It was in pursuit of adventure that I went to Kenya, and adventure there I found. During my four months in Kenya, I discovered that reality is so much deeper than a stereotype. My Africa, my Kenya, at times grew my capacity to love, at other times broke my heart. Through all of it, I was challenged to seek my true character, to step into the greatest version of myself. In quiet moments after the sun has set, I can almost hear the chanting of the Masai, my voice rising with theirs. Maybe one day I will be found dancing among the tribal Kenyans again, decked out in beaded necklaces and speaking the language as my own. Maybe one day I will be found running a medical clinic in the bush for people who have no other hope. One thing is certain, if I am found in Kenya, I will be unshakably happy with a fierce determination to change Kenya because Kenya first changed me.” – Allegra Forwith, Junior, Louisville, KY
POLAND – “Poland is 98% Roman Catholic, most non-practicing, and we return every year to this small, rapidly growing, Baptist church in a large city hoping to spread the good news and joy that we have found in Christ. The Polish people are very loving if you take the time to love them. The language is one of the most difficult ones in the world to learn, and their religion is deep in the roots of the country, but God pierces the hearts of many when He is taken to them. As we prepare to leave I pray we have served diligently and done what God called us to do. It is killing me to leave after all this time. This month has flown by, these relationships made mean the world to me. I cannot wait until next year to continue this ministry. I had learned to love the all-natural food, the early morning sunlight, the breeze from the Baltic Sea, and the beautiful history in display around the country, and it was time to say goodbye. I never grow tired of this trip; it has been a blessing to be a part of a Polish family, and I plan on being a member of that family for the rest of my life. There are so many individual accounts of God’s work in these people’s lives during the month I was there and especially the growth over three years, but these few pages cannot hold all my stories. Two nations became one as we served wholeheartedly for the purpose of taking the Word of God to the world. A lot of my heart was left in Poland.” – Amber Jo Lewis, Sophomore, Cox’s Creek, KY
NEW ZEALAND, AUSTRALIA, CHINA – “New Zealand is a very spiritually dry country. I had dinner with a missionary there one night, and she said it is like the future America where not only is religion looked down upon, but it is completely ignored. In China we had a very different experience with religion. It is known to be the place where Christians are persecuted, but in the city the government allows for Christian churches as long as they are in control of what occurs in them. We attended a government church every Sunday, and although it was controlled politically, it was clear that God was working through whatever was available and these Chinese people knew Him. We were encouraged to talk to whomever we could at church, and I always found that their faith was so genuine and real because it is all they have. Most of the students I talked to in the universities about their conversion told me it came at a point when they could not handle the pressure of their culture anymore, and needed some kind of peace and freedom.” -- Meredith Ury, Senior, Elizabeth City, NC
Check back each month to view more inspiring words from our students!