by Bryson Durst
Are you interested in serving on the missions field over spring break? If so, Global Outreach is offering sign ups for 2019’s spring break missions trips throughout the month of October.
Students who have previously gone on these trips all had positive things to say. Ryan Merk, a junior who went to Memphis last year, mentioned how it was a great opportunity for “serving people” and to “have a great impact.” Sierra Ross, a sophomore who went to Peru last year, mentioned how she “got to see a different culture” and “the ways of God presented differently.” Junior Lauren Matson, who went on a medical trip to the Dominican Republic, called it “a life-changing experience.”
Sixteen trips are listed for this coming spring break (March ce2-10) to a variety of locations. Trips here in the United States include those to Atlanta, GA; St. Louis, MI; Chicago, IL; and New York City, NY. Overseas trips are also offered to locations as varied as the Caribbean, Latin America, Western Europe, and North Africa. In addition to diversity of locations, a diversity of activities is also offered. The trip to New York, for instance, will be a weeklong activity focused on urban evangelism, while students going to the Dominican Republic will be working in the dental and medical fields, students in North Africa will be helping teach English as a second language, and students in Mexico will be helping with a youth camp.
Brian Nester and Keith Holcomb, Director and Assistant Director for GO respectively, gave some reasons for students to consider going on one of these trips. All Cedarville students are encouraged to go on at least one mission trip during their time here at the university. Nester referred to the greenhouse analogy that university President Dr. Thomas White has used before. Nester emphasized that Cedarville students are blessed with a strong Christian environment, and are called to use these blessings to bless others, especially those who have never had the chance to hear the good news.
Nester and Holcomb also pointed out that the trips are a great opportunity for students to experience the Great Commision firsthand. Both shared stories of Cedarville students who went on these trips and then were encouraged to return the following year or urge others to go. Other students, after graduating, have returned to their missions sites full-time. Both men also pointed out that the students are helping local ministries through these missions trips. Local ministries appreciate it when Cedarville students come to assist in them, and Cedarville students can rest assured knowing that they aren’t just, as Holcomb put it, “helicoptering in.” Instead, they are helping to build up a ministry that is stationed there for the long-term.
Some of the students who have gone on these trips shared some lessons that they discovered. Merk described learning how, “Although I’m small, I can still have a great impact in a few people’s lives,” and that “there’s more than just sharing the gospel, which is good, but there’s also going and serving people.” Matson added one thing that she became aware of was that “Evangelism is done by locals that are there…we go on the trip to demonstrate the body of Christ and make the bride look beautiful.”
Previous students also had some advice on how to approach these trips. Ross would say to prospective students, “Get your heart right with God,” which includes a recommendation to “be in the Word daily” and to pray. Matson emphasized that, saying, “Approach it very prayerfully,” including “which trip you should go on and what reasons you’re choosing to go on it.” Matson also advised students not to get too anxious regarding fundraising, saying that “it comes very easily, and Global Outreach makes it easy.”
The GO staff also provided some words of wisdom regarding finances and support. Holcomb said that it’s important to remember that though students are “asking someone to give, it’s the Lord who’s actually giving,” and to trust that God is sovereign in providing resources. Finally, regardless of whether they need financial support or not, Nester encouraged students to send letters asking for prayer, pointing out that “no one is ever going to say stop sending prayer letters.”
Registration for these trips will last throughout the month of October. If you want more information, feel free to stop by the GO office or go to the website at cedarville.edu/globaloutreach where you can find more information as well as applications for these trips.
Bryson Durst is a freshman Biblical Studies major. He enjoys theology, history, playing strategy games with friends, and anything Star Wars related.