Between Feb. 8 and 10, more than 40 Corban University students, faculty and guest missionaries came together for the annual Breakaway Retreat on the Oregon coast.
“The purpose of Breakaway is to get Christians who are interested in missions into an atmosphere where they will be talking and praying about that,” said Assistant Professor of Missions Paul Johnson, D.Min. “They heard stories and had a chance to ask questions over a meal or on a walk along the beach.” He added the retreat is kept intentionally relaxed.
“The Breakaway Retreat is somewhat informal,” Johnson said. “It’s not a seminar or conference, but a time of prayer for different countries in the world and to worship together.”
This year’s guests included Tom Englesman, US Mobilization Director for SEND International, and Bryan Martin, a missionary with World Team, who serves with his wife, Jacinda, in the Philippines. In May, one of Corban’s Summer of Service (S.O.S.) teams will serve alongside the Martins in the Philippines.
“It was great that Bryan’s wife came because half of the students that attend are ladies and so had that input,” Johnson said. Retreat organizer Katie Worley said it allowed for greater immersion into what it means to be called to mission work.
“It is so nice to dedicate more than just a few minutes in chapel or at church to praying about missions and hearing stories from those who have gone out and served overseas,” Worley said. “The Breakaway weekend was a time for students to really think and seek God's direction about their potential role as a missionary.
“I loved seeing and feeling that passion for global ministry spread throughout the group because of the missionaries' testimonies,” she added.
Between May and June six S.O.S. teams are traveling around the globe. The short-term missions will take place in Ukraine, the Philippines, Southeast Asia, Mexico, Japan and Haiti. Although many of those who attended the Breakaway Retreat won’t be on those missions, Johnson said they could be the ones who are part of the True North Corps and missions in the future.
“Our hope is that they will be challenged further and take one more step toward cross-cultural ministry,” he said.