Testimonies 2009-10

PUBLISHED – 5/5/10:

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC –- “This trip has given me a completely new outlook on what the world is like outside the United States and the specific needs of the people of the Dominican Republic.  The places where God can use me and others to further His kingdom are endless.  I absolutely loved every minute of the ministry there and want to continue doing missions work both there and all over the world for the rest of my life.”  -- Matt Bartram, Ashland, KY

EL SALVADOR -– “I learned not to be daunted by having the odds against you…. God’s faithfulness is not based on our ideas of what’s best, and He proved Himself to be more than faithful time and again.  My time in El Salvador is still having an impact on me.  While I very clearly feel that God has called me to serve here in the U.S., going to El Salvador reminded me of how important it is to be involved in the world at large.  My desire is to some day go back to Jucuápa, perhaps just for two weeks, maybe for a year, and to be able to minister to the missionaries and to the citizens even more.”  -- Joy Stebner, Beavercreek, OH

ARGENTINA –- “This mission trip opened up my eyes to see that the body of Christ spans the entire globe and that not only Americans can be missionaries.” – Steven Opperman, Anchorage, AK

ENGLAND –- “I took away from this trip LOVE.  Real love.  I finally started to understand how high, wide, and how deep the love of God really is.  It is really moving to me to see this change happen.  My friends this year have commented that they can see a difference in me this year, and that I really do have a new love for people and God!  This amazes me.  Had I not gone to England and faced my fears and my heartaches head on and put them into the Lord’s hands, I would have never encountered the Love of God in the profound way that I did.  It will forever change me, and I will never be the same after this trip.”  -- Logan Kidwell, Loogootee, IN

IRELAND -– “Before, I never really knew how much power there was in prayer.  But after this trip, I know that nothing can defeat you when God is on your side.  Nothing that was accomplished could have been accomplished at all if God wasn’t with us.  It opened my eyes more to how great and amazing the God is that we serve.  I hope one day to return to Ireland, but until then, I will keep praying for each one of those people that I met and have faith that the seeds we planted there will take root.”  -- Tessa Carroll, Chesapeake, VA

PERU -– “I am incredibly thankful for this trip and all that the Lord taught me through the experience.  …I love travelling, and cannot wait for my next opportunity to serve Christ internationally in the future!” -– Bethany Russell, Florence, KY

PUBLISHED – 06/10:

MEXICO - “I didn’t want to go to Mexico.  Or any other place.  I was bitter about being obligated to accrue more debt in order to become ‘culturally aware’ and my initial reaction to the Cross-Cultural Requirement was to push back against it.  …God changed that mentality and satisfied my anger by his deep love….  As a result of the immense joy I experienced in speaking Spanish again, I decided to switch my major from accounting to Spanish.  After having been in Mexico, I realized sitting in my accounting class one day that I am not made for debits and credits.  I didn’t think I would say this, but God’s work through the Mexico trip changed my life.”  -- Lauren John, Waxhaw, NC

IRELAND - “I never knew how life altering a mission trip could be for myself.  Not only did I learn the ways of the Irish culture, but also the ways of Jesus to use the simple things to make the greatest and life changing effects in His children.”  -- Kara Lawless, Jamestown, KY

SPAIN - “The decision I made to go and spend a semester in Spain was the best decision I’ve ever made.  I gained a new perspective of viewing the world by living in a different culture and being in the minority along with an appreciation for everything that I have here in the United States.  That appreciation gave me new love of and joy in freedom that I think comes from living in Europe where anything goes and public transportation is amazing.  And finally, my knowledge of Spanish and my ability to speak it grew exponentially.  These three things are just a few of the ways that I grew and changed while I was in Sevilla.” – Jenelle McClean, Indianapolis, IN 

ECUADOR - “Even though I had been to Ecuador many times and experienced the culture, my heart was touched again, as it is every time I get the opportunity to serve the Lord.  I know I have a passion for South America, and I love the people of Ecuador.  God has not made it 100% clear to me that this is where he is calling me, but I know that there is such a joy in serving others and just seeing the smiles on people’s face when you wave at them or talk to a person on the bus.  This really changed my perspective on things.”  -- Rebecca Coleman, Wilmore, KY 

JORDAN – At one point in the middle of the day, the jeep stopped for a rest at the bottom of a giant sand dune.  Nora, oblivious to the others in the jeep, grabbed my hand again and pulled me up the side of the sand dune.  The sand filled my shoes and weighed me down, so I had trouble keeping up with this nimble child.  She laughed, pulled me harder with both hands and cried, ‘Yelah, yehlah!’ Or ‘Faster, faster!’  Though my laughter, I cried back, ‘Ishway, ishway!’  Or ‘Slow down, slow down!’  Eventually, we reached the top and collapsed in a giggling heap.  …I went to Jordan thinking that I was going to become a politician and save the world.   …Nora taught me in a matter of hours what countless politicians, ambassadors, and other high-end government officials had failed to teach me over an entire summer.  Through her simple innocence and childish interaction, I came to understand that to make a difference for Christ in this world, you don’t need to become a famous diplomat with endless political power; rather, you only need to follow God’s plan and will for your life.” – Sara Finehout, Creston, IA

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – “Prior to this trip, I had never before considered missions.  I know that I have not been called to be a fulltime missionary.  However, I do feel that God has called me to the field of the Dominican Republic, or at least to the Hispanic Culture.  I cannot seem to get it out of my mind.  There are days that I wish I could teleport myself back to El Tablon.  If given the chance to go back, I would hop on a plane immediately and fly over.  I cannot wait for the day that I get to go back.  I might just move there one day.”  -- Christine Shafer, North East, PA

PUBLISHED – 07/10:

SPAIN – “My cross-cultural experience that I had in Spain can basically be summed up with the verse that God gave me as a theme verse even before I left for the trip.  The verse was Isaiah 58:11 (NIV), which says, ‘The LORD will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.’  It is only out of our overflow from God that we can truly serve others; if we try to serve out of our own well, it will quickly run dry.  This was the most valuable lesson that I learned in Spain; we have to come to God first.” Katrina Kent, Crestwood, KY

JORDAN – At one point in the middle of the day, the jeep stopped for a rest at the bottom of a giant sand dune.  Nora, oblivious to the others in the jeep, grabbed my hand again and pulled me up the side of the sand dune.  The sand filled my shoes and weighed me down, so I had trouble keeping up with this nimble child.  She laughed, pulled me harder with both hands and cried, ‘Yelah, yehlah!’ Or ‘Faster, faster!’  Through my laughter, I cried back, ‘Ishway, ishway!’  Or ‘Slow down, slow down!’  Eventually, we reached the top and collapsed in a giggling heap.  …I went to Jordan thinking that I was going to become a politician and save the world.   …Nora taught me in a matter of hours what countless politicians, ambassadors, and other high-end government officials had failed to teach me over an entire summer.  Through her simple innocence and childish interaction, I came to understand that to make a difference for Christ in this world, you don’t need to become a famous diplomat with endless political power; rather, you only need to follow God’s plan and will for your life.” – Sara Finehout, Creston, IA

GUATEMALA - “God has caused several things to happen since I have been home that have me wondering whether or not I might end up doing some kind of ministry.  He has put me in places and positions I would have never thought I would be in, but I am learning to trust Him and that there really is no fear in His love.  I am thankful that Asbury does have the cross-cultural requirement because it has changed me and God is moving in my life in a way I did not expect.”  -- Jessica Jones, Bethel, OH

CHICAGO, IL (Inner City Experience) – “I learned things that I never would have learned had I not been put into this situation.  I think that the most important lesson I came away with from the week was to never assume.  I realized that everyone has a different story, everyone has a different reason, and everyone has a different solution.  Many people will need the chance and the know-how to build themselves up, to restore their own lives. Others will need handout after handout, and that is how it will be.  But regardless of the solution, what each of the individuals needed most was perfect love.” – Jared Bishop, Needham, MA

ECUADOR – “Before our trip, I had already been considering switching my major from Media Communications to Elementary Education and Middle School Education.  The awesome thing about visiting the schools [in Ecuador] was that it showed me teaching is exactly where I am called to be.  I thrived performing and interacting with the kids at the schools.  I saw children that desperately needed love and had a hunger to learn.  It was an awesome opportunity to see the joy on the children’s faces as we performed the shows for them.”  -- Kayla  DuBois, Indianapolis, IN