Corban University had 38 students and recent graduates on international, short-term mission trips in the month of May. The University was represented in Mexico City, Mexico; Udine, Italy; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; and Jakarta, Indonesia.
Some students did work projects, some ran sports or Bible camps, and others joined local churches or missionaries with their visitation or programming needs. All students built relationships with the peoples of the country they flew to serve because they desired to share Christ’s love and to be personally impacted by those they met.
Vince Rediger, student leader of the team in Haiti, said prior to his trip, “I hope that God will challenge and impact our hearts to help us see His purposes and global work. I also hope that we will be able to serve and encourage the Haitians in a variety of ways — to share God’s love in both word and deed.”
Rachel Staton, an intercultural-studies major, led a team of 10 to Mexico City. There they partnered with CAM International, an agency committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ in Spanish-speaking areas. The Corban team provided support for local churches and missionaries: as they did so, Staton emphasized the importance of team unity.
She said, “I want us to communicate, across any language barriers, ‘Yes, we’re on a mission trip, but we really enjoy each other and we enjoy the Lord.’ That comes across really strongly when you’re ministering cross-culturally.” Since the team members stayed in host homes, they had plenty of opportunities for building relationships cross-culturally.
A common interest in soccer brought together a group of 12 Corban women, along with several guests, and they taught both soccer and English in the capital city of Indonesia. Recent graduate Kacie Emerick, in her trip blog, reported that the children were receptive and excited to be learning the skills. The women also painted a new courtyard for a village school.
Eight other Corban students served in Italy, led by Stacey Frentress, a recent graduate and second-time servant on this kind of mission trip. The eight served flexibly, emailed Cheryl Hanson, wife of trip director Daryl Hanson, as their planned itinerary of street ministry, including mime presentations and a Vacation Bible School at a park, was mostly canceled due to inclement weather.
Instead, said Hanson, they had unique indoor opportunities to support church planters Ken and RuthAnn Wells in Udine, Italy. They visited a local high school to help in an English class, for example, and they visited shut-ins, performing songs and mimes for them. Hanson said, “As the Wells continue to pursue these varied relationships, these simple visits may prove to be a vital part in that development.”
The Italy team had what Hanson called “a ministry of encouragement,” as they partnered with Saints Equipped to Evangelize (SEE) during their two-week trip. Frentress said, “This is a ‘planting seeds’ ministry. It’s exciting to see the fruit of the labors of previous Corban teams.”
The team of eight in Haiti also had a ministry of encouragement; they worked in earthquake-stricken Port-au-Prince with refugee children, locals, and missionaries. Richard Mears, of the missions agency CrossWorld, said, “The Corban Team has done a great job sharing the love of Christ with the kids, sharing their testimonies and doing games and crafts. They are a bit overwhelmed by the poverty but are encouraged by the warmth of the Haitian people.”
The Mexico, Italy, and Haiti mission opportunities were coordinated through TrueNorth Corps, the student missions organization at Corban. A member of TrueNorth Corps, Jenae Dawson, said, “Corban is a place where students are excited about missions, both locally and globally. As our club has grown, so has our outreach.”
To learn more about TrueNorth Corps, email TrueNorth Corps President, Vince Rediger, atVinceRediger@corban.edu, or follow this link to get more information on missions mobilization andintercultural studies at Corban.