Summer Missions: 106 Days of Service
by Leah Raich, Journalist Intern
With final exams now two weeks in the rearview mirror, Lipscomb students have turned their focus to their next objective - serving Christ across the globe this summer. Over the course of 106 days, from May 4 through August 17, Lipscomb Missions will have 24 teams on the ground in 18 different countries. The timeframe is broad in scope - all summer long - and so are the locations and types of services being offered.
From discipline-specific trips in Engineering that will be serving communities in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic to a first year trip to Moldova where a team of graduate psychology students will be providing therapeutic counseling to girls once caught in human trafficking, some students have the opportunity to take what they have learned in the classroom and apply it in a mission field. From the two trips to Australia (Brisbane and Perth) where students will engage growing churches and encourage youth, to two trips in India where Lipscomb teams will spend five weeks in Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta ministering in a country where Christians are the minority. In each of these missions, students will have the unique chance to literally “go into all the world”, as Jesus directs his followers in Mark 16:15.
This year’s 24 summer trips are a record for Lipscomb Missions, up from 20 trips in 2011 and just eight trips three years ago in 2009. There has been a significant shift in the landscape of the Missions Program as the number of trips offered has flipped from being heavily weighted on spring break efforts to the current majority of summer trips leading the way.
“It’s been an interesting journey the last few years to see our summer opportunities steadily climb. Thanks to our students and their passion to serve, along with our dedicated team leaders who help facilitate our trips, we’ve been able to slowly but intentionally insert additional opportunities in areas of ministry that we haven’t been able to offer in the past,” says Mark Jent, Assistant Director of Missions.
Among the eight new trips this summer, a few that are unique in their own right include the Kenya trip comprised solely of members of the Alpha Phi Chi men’s service club, partnering with Made in the Streets ministry in Nairobi, Kenya. The ministry’s purpose is to offer new life for kids on the streets, a life free from drugs, homelessness, disease, theft and hunger. The University’s Athletic Department is launching its second new trip of the year as the Lady Bisons Softball team will be traveling to Choluteca, Honduras in August to work with Mission Lazarus.
By the end of the summer Lipscomb Missions will have sent 47 trips and nearly 700 people across the country and around the world. Less than 72 hours after the last team returns home in August, a new fall semester will begin – and so will a brand new chance to focus on what God has in store for Lipscomb Missions in 2013.