By Alena Blakely, Chief Photographer
Over J-term, 33 students traveled with six mentors to seven different locations including Brazil, China, Hawaii, Mexico, North Africa, Panama and Phoenix.
“It’s really easy to think serving in the U.S. is of lesser importance, which it’s not, but my favorite part was taking students and having them realize the vast needs in that context right here in their own country,” Director Joy said.
But Joy was not the only one who saw the need for the gospel in the US.
“The GO trip to Phoenix changed my perspective on life because it showed me that there is a need in our own country for the gospel,” student Lauren said.
Not only did students learn about their own country, but they also learned a thing or two about who God is through their experience on their GO trip.
“We were in the jungle for three days and it was really hard, but the Lord just taught me so much through that and through the M’s,” student Haylee said.
“He taught me so much to be satisfied in Him even when I am uncomfortable. When we were there we had to filter the water and it was really hard I want to be satisfied in the Lord more then I need the water.”
While those who attended the GO trips learned all about God and the importance of him, they also had the opportunity to understand that the same God who they serve in the USA is the same God they serve in the Jungle and all over the world.
“It’s crazy to see how the Lord is moving in these different places but He is still the same God,” Haylee said.
“You just do ministry in different ways because people are different but they’re all the same and we all have the same need for the Gospel.”
For one student, making connections with the people was the most important part of the trip.
“God used me to talk to a random EMT, and I had the opportunity to talk to her about how I also had an EMT class,” Lauren said. “Through that I got to invite her to the church we were serving with.”
Since students have the opportunity to make connections with peers that have similar interests, there is an emphasis on why students need to go.
“I actually received an email today from contacts in the field who were raving about how the students had an excellent attitude and how they made connections with new people that they did not previously have access to,” staff member Taylor said.
The students give all the glory goes to God for the outcome of making connections and seeing those in the field come to know Christ.
“He is doing things we could have never come up with to get the gospel where it’s not. It was cool to see how perspectives change,” Haylee said.
“We all took away that the Gospel is worth giving up a lot. It’s worth giving up everything actually,” Haylee said.