Mar 3, 2009

Students serve on spring break

by Amanda Thomason

Most students are looking forward to relaxing nights, sunny beaches and a stress-free time away from schoolwork during the upcoming spring break. However, every year Liberty presents students with the opportunity to go throughout the world to reach people using different ministries and opportunities to present the gospel.

More than 40 Liberty students have chosen to venture to Florida and as far away as East Asia for a short-term mission trip during spring break.
Light Ministries works to put together different mission trips to numerous countries and states in order to give students the opportunity to aid in different and ongoing missions projects to reach the lost. They work with missionaries and mission agencies that are already partnered with Light Ministries and Liberty.

Light Ministries works to provide many possibilities for students and tries to make a variety of countries available for students to go and minister, according to Campaign Assistant Alex Huddleston.

“The purpose is to connect students with trips that help further the long-term goals of … Light Ministries, the mission agency and the missionaries,” Huddleston said. “We look to go to fields where our teams will (make) significant contributions to what the missionaries are already doing.”

Last year, Liberty sent 12 young men to Germany on spring break to promote Liberty and the Center for Worship. The team performed in multiple churches throughout western Germany. A larger group of 25 to 30 students, male and female, will again head to Germany over the break to perform and promote Liberty’s Center for Worship.

“My favorite part of the trip was being able to stay with a couple host families and experience what that was like. We even got to wake up in the morning and eat a real German breakfast,” sophomore Elias Anderson said. “It was great being able to travel from the northernmost (parts) to the southernmost (parts) of western Germany and experience firsthand what German culture is like much better than a normal two-week trip.”

The average cost of a spring break trip is $2800, which will pay for plane tickets, housing, food and costs for the projects students will be involved in. Beyond the official cost for the trip, there are additional requirements, such as passports, immunizations and personal spending money, according to Huddleston.

The primary way students pay for these trips, other than providing what they can from their own bank accounts, is through support letters. Each member is encouraged to write to family members, church members and friends asking for financial and prayer support. Some team members also get together to hold bake sales or yard sales to raise money.

One mission team will be heading to Southeast Asia for 10 days. They will be focusing on teaching English to students while utilizing opportunities to share the gospel with the students they are teaching.

“I wanted to go on this trip because it has a very different aspect of ministry than any of the trips I have gone on before. I also really feel God wanted me to go to Asia and get out of my comfort zone and to expand the way I do ministry,” sophomore Erica Nash said.

Another team will be venturing to North Africa to minister to the villages. They will be backpacking along the Atlas Mountains and ministering to people along the way.

“I’m excited to go to North Africa, because I love hiking, so I’m very excited to do that in a foreign country. I’m not too nervous about anything, that’s what I have a mom for. I know she’ll always pray for me at home,” sophomore Matthew Bryant said.

Liberty Theological Seminary Professor Edward Smither is one of the leaders for the North Africa trip. He spent 10 years overseas doing mission work, seven of them in North Africa, before coming to teach at Liberty in 2006.

Smither decided to volunteer to help lead this trip because he has experience in North Africa and has a passion for the people there.

“I love North African people, their food and culture, and I enjoy speaking Arabic- especially when the conversation is about Jesus,” Smither said. “My prayer is that God will use this trip greatly in the lives of our students going, leading some to go back (for a) long-term (trip) and enabling the rest to pray more intelligently for North Africa.”

Ministry and missions are not only an overseas experience. Students also take trips within the United States. One group will go to Miami, Florida and do sketch board evangelism through the Open Air Campaign (OAC) organization.

Sophomore Angela Romaniello decided to go on this trip after Missions Emphasis Week, when a representative from OAC came to speak in one of her classes. She said her heart was really burdened and she had been praying for an opportunity to go and evangelize.

Liberty and Light Ministries put a lot of effort into planning trips for students and faculty. The teams spend time in weekly meetings, team-building retreats and lessons on learning the language and the culture they will be experiencing. After long weeks of working toward the trip through fundraising and preparation, students will able to put everything into action as they step onto their mission fields during spring break.

Contact Amanda Thomason at
ahthomason@liberty.edu.

 


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