Where Ministry Never Goes Out of Season

Asbury students show the love of God in a variety of ways around the world on summer "break."
Asbury students show the love of God in a variety of ways around the world on summer "break."

In the midst of summer jobs and internships, Asbury University students are proving to be just as intentional about making ministry a way of life in the summer as they do the other seasons of the year. In addition to hundreds of hours volunteering in local communities and traveling to help with tornado or other types of emergency relief needs, here are just a few examples of the many students who are making an eternal impact around the world during their “summer break”:

Summer Ministry Teams
Two teams of Asbury students hit the road in late May to begin a nine-week adventure of ministry, service and growth in Christian practice. Team “Renewed” is following a Southern route (Mississippi, Florida and Georgia) that includes churches, camp meetings and a children’s home. Team “Ablaze” has headed North (Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois and Pennsylvania) to a children’s camp, International Christian Center, a camp meeting and several churches.

Team “Renewed”: Kelsey Adams ’15, Molly Bramble ’16, Susan Driskill ’14, Josh Kelly ’15, Katie McPherson ’15, Tyler Wilson ’15

Team “Ablaze”: Jared Gerhardstein ’15, Katie Pittman ’15, Emily Puckett ’16, Meredith Robison ’14, Jay Smith ’15

Asbury Initiative Grant
Each year, Asbury offers several grants through the Asbury University Initiative for Servant Leadership in International Development. Established in 2004 and funded by generous donors and alumni, the Asbury Initiative has awarded grants of up to $10,000 to more than 150 students to perform volunteer service in variety of areas that impact communities in developing countries. The grants are awarded on a competitive basis.

Anna Ensz '15, an art major, is serving at a Youth With a Mission base in East Timor. Her illustrations help communicate Biblical messages to people in the surrounding villages.

"Since I have been here, the Lord has taught me a lot about humility and duty," Ensz said. "As an artist I want to be able to paint my best, but painting Bible scenes quickly on letter-size paper with house paint doesn't equal a masterpiece. But the Lord asked me if I was willing to keep painting for them even if they never knew that I could do better. I couldn't say no to that."

This year’s Initiative grant recipients are Isaac Archer ’14 (Peru), Norma Calicott ’13 (South Korea), Jennifer Crowell ’13 (Romania), Anna Ensz ’15 (East Timor), Tyler Garden ’15 (Zambia), Caleb Griffin ’14 (Peru), Andrea Hasik ’14 (Ghana), Madeline Sites ’14 (India), Taylor Techau ’13 (Uganda), Randy Troyer ’13 (Tunisia) and Katie Wilson ’13 (Zambia).

Sports ministry
Ministry is an integral part of Asbury Athletic’s philosophy, and the intercollegiate teams often use summers to travel. Team trips often include exhibition matches, camps and training in sport-specific skills — all with the goals of reaching out to the local communities with the love of Jesus on the basis of a shared interest in sport. Trips on this summer’s docket include Puerto Rico (men’s basketball and volleyball), Costa Rica (cross country) and Jamaica (men’s soccer).

In the past, the men’s soccer team has traveled to Costa Rica, but this year’s trip to Jamaica offers a new environment for the team’s outreach through Global Soccer Ministries.

“Now that we do not have a language barrier as we did in Costa Rica, I believe our effectiveness will be increased,” said coach Ben Andrews ‘06. “However, we try to use the game of soccer as much as possible to make correlations and to give us a common language so that we then can look to make an impact in the lives of kids, teens, and adults.”

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