The money collected during the missions conference at the beginning of the semester will be used to help Cedarville students with the last bit of mission trip support they can’t raise, said President Dr. Thomas White.
An offering was taken during each of the night sessions of the missions conference to help students going on mission trips. Across those three nights, about $12,000 was given.
“Don’t tell our VP of business this. I’ll tell him tomorrow after he’s had his coffee, but I’m going to double it,” White said. “And so we’re going to end up with $24,000 of scholarship money.”
Brian Nester, director of MIS (Missions Involvement Services), said the money will be a blessing to students struggling to pay for a trip.
He said they still have to figure out how it will be dispersed.
“This isn’t giving anybody money who hasn’t done their part,” Nester said. “Everyone raises their support.”
Cedarville helps out some by providing stationery, postage and printing costs, Nester said.
“But no matter what, everyone’s got to raise their own support,” he said. “As long as everyone continues to do their part, then this extra money will be a great part because all of us run out of contacts eventually.”
Nester said some students have 200-300 people they can write letters to; others only have 50 or 60 they can write. He said the money from the offering will be a blessing to the struggling students.
“We’ll have to make decisions on who gets how much because some may need more than others,” Nester said. “It probably won’t be divided evenly. There’s no need to do that. Teams raise anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000.”
As far as other ways to help students go abroad for missions, White said he needs to get donors to help pay for it.
“Money’s the big issue, which is why (we’re taking) baby steps,” he said. “This time instead of asking everyone to give money to support the speaker or anything of that nature, we said we’ll cover that out of the budget, and we’re just going to send everything to student trips.”
White said the money is intended to help with the last bit of support the students can’t raise.
“That way we spread it out as maximally possible as we can,” he said. “That way when I tell the trustees about it, when I tell other donors about it, what I’m hoping will happen and what I’m praying will happen if the Lord puts this on their hearts is somebody will say, ‘You just send them, and we’ll pay for it.’ If that happens, I would love it.”
For the past several years, about 200 students have gone on an MIS trip, Nester said, but some years up to 350 students have gone. He also said the number of students going on mission trips is expected to rise this year because over 80 students made a commitment to missions at the missions conference.
White said he would love for all Cedarville students to have the experience of going on a mission trip.
“There are lots of reasons to go on a mission trip, but I would say that it’s good for everyone to go overseas or be actively engaged in missions,” White said. “The Great Commission wasn’t given to a particular group of people. It was given to all of us to go spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and to go and make disciples and to go to the ends of the earth.”
Both Nester and White said they believe the school can help make it possible for every willing student to go overseas on a mission trip.
“I don’t think it’s fair for us to keep the gospel in the United States where everybody has access to it,” White said. “They may not all believe it, they may not all have heard it, but they have access to it. And so the great problem of the day is global gospel access.”
Maya Palmisciano is a sophomore technical and professional communication major and reporter for Cedars. Music, especially her clarinet, is her second love (next to writing, of course!).