Missions Emphasis Week focuses on leading short-term missions trips

As final exams loom, college students seem to be hard pressed for time. Yet, being called to do the work of Christ is a call that is very important, which was equally stressed during Mission Emphasis Week on October 26 -28.

During these three days, students were exposed to a wide variety of speakers, shows and advertisement for the opportunity to serve Christ in a hurting world. The theme of the week was “Finding your Role in Missions,” and much was done to help students find ways to contribute to the missions world.

One of the main events during the week was a workshop on “Leading Short Term Missions Trips.” The workshop was held on Thursday, October 27 in Walton 2, and was lead by Worldwide Evangelisation for Christ employee David Smith. All Eastern students were invited to attend this informative session.

“The primary goal in speaking to college students [about missions trips] is to excite them in serving Jesus in some capacity,” Smith said.

During the hour-long meeting, Smith covered everything about preparing a trip, leading a trip and properly ministering to the world. Smith’s main emphasis was that short term missions trips overseas all depend on “where you are going and what you are doing.”

In preparing for these trips, Smith suggested to the students several key areas to research. These areas included information about the team with which you are going, the ministry you will be doing, the country to which you are going, the people with whom you will be interacting and the culture and customs to which you will be exposed.

Once these areas are taken care of, there are also expectations which your group should determine.

“You will first have a culture shock, and then the honeymoon stage where everything goes right. Then the horror will come, and your trip will have some problems. But sooner or later, you will establish a home, and start to feel at home with the people and the culture,” Smith said.

Smith continued by stating that “love, compassion and friendship” are the keys to successfully ministering to the world.

Aside from this workshop, chapel service on October 26 also represented the emphasis of missions. The stage area was adorned with different flags from around the world.

Following worship, Eastern’s traveling ministry group Transformed, performed a skit on the problems college students face in attending missions trips. The main emphasis was that college students hesitate to attend these trips and make excuses: not enough time, money or energy.

After the group performed, several speakers followed, including Andrew Bush, a missionary closely connected to the Eastern University community, who has served in the Philippines and Palestine territories.

Bush spoke of missions as the “most critical work in the world today,” and he believes that God is calling those “who are willing to take up the risks of the adventure of the love of Jesus Christ.”

He concluded by stating that he believes we are called to a “compassionate and passionate response of God to the world.”

Next, Andy Horvath, oordinator of service learning and campus ministries, spoke. He stated how the missions week has been in the making for six months, and the main trips that are approaching through the university are those to the Dominican Republic and a Habitat for Humanity trip to Georgia.

During the three days, different organizations such as Student Missions Fellowship, Africa Inland Mission, Serving in Mission, American Ministry Fellowship, Interserve USA and the International Discipleship Evangelistic Association set up tables outside of the dining commons.

No matter where the trip or how long, Smith offered words of encouragement for students who may have doubts about short term missions trips.

“Don’t expect fantastic miracles. Do expect your group to be a positive contribution to a link in a very positive chain. And always remember, no matter what you are doing, you are representing Christ,” Smith said.

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