Summer takes students around the globe

College students across the country are counting down the days until homework and classes are finally finished and they are free to enjoy summer break. After exams are over, most students will go back home to work and spend time with family and friends. Amanda Kruppenbacher, 23, will be making a village in Uganda, more than 8,500 miles away, her new home for the next two years.

Kruppenbacher is planning to work at the Good Shepherd’s Fold orphanage in Buundo, Uganda for at least two years. Kruppenbacher graduated from Liberty in 2009 with a degree in elementary and special education. After graduating and substitute teaching in elementary schools, she heard about the opportunity and decided to act on a calling she had felt for several years — to minister to the people of Africa.

“I am so excited to see how the Lord uses me and the vision he’s given me. I can’t wait to get there,” Kruppenbacher said.

Uganda has an estimated 1.7 million orphans, making it the country with the highest number of orphans in the world, almost two million Ugandan children have lost a parent to AIDS and 18 out of 24 people who die of starvation in Uganda are children, according to the Good Shepherd’s Fold Web site.

Approximately 104 children live on a compound at the orphanage. The children are divided into 10 families, each with a foster mother, according to the Web site. Children who are not orphans but live in the village surrounding the compound also come to the orphanage to receive food and free education.

Kruppenbacher became involved in missions when she was 20 years old. Since then she has visited Ethiopia and also traveled a slave-trade route through Zambia, Tanzania, Botswana and South Africa.

Lately, she has been traveling around the United States trying to raise financial support before leaving for Uganda June 15. She will be living with three other missionary families, but will need about $2,100 per month. Right now, she has about 60 percent of the necessary support.

Although they will not be gone for quite as long, many other Liberty students will be giving up their first few weeks of summer break to help others in faraway places. Light Ministries will be sending six teams of students to places like India, the Middle East, France, North Africa, Brazil and Mexico for short-term mission trips this summer, according to Light Ministries office manager Angi Whitworth.

Whitworth said students who go on the Middle East, France and North Africa trips will be entering closed countries, where Christian ministry is illegal or not considered a valid reason for entering the country. Because the teams will be in closed countries, Light Ministries is not allowed to give out the names of the specific places the students will be visiting. This will be the first time Light Ministries has sent a team to this particular country in the Middle East, according to Whitworth.

All six trips will last about two weeks each. The teams will leave May 16 or 17 and will return at the end of May or beginning of June. The average team will contain about 15 members, and every trip will be led by either a Liberty staff member or a Light Ministries staff member. The medical mission trip to Brazil will be lead by campus pastor Chris Deitsch.

“Brazil is a medical trip, they actually go down the Amazon river and stop in villages and do medical clinics,” Whitworth said.

In India, the team will minister to children in orphanages and put together a vacation bible school-type program. The team will also be ministering to the Hindu population in India.

The Mexico team will also be ministering to children and teaching English.

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