Students Serve World on Summer Missions
From Peru to Bulgaria, OC students and faculty left their mark on the globe this summer through mission and service projects.
More than 50 students, faculty, staff members and alumni served on various mission projects in 15 countries spread over five continents. Mission projects ranged from working in orphanages to setting up a computer lab in rural Africa.
This year, Oklahoma Christian also revived a singing campaign in Germany that originally began in the 1980s.
“These experiences change lives. That’s why OC is Mission,” said Ben Langford (98), director of OC’s Center for Global Missions. “When we go and do things, they convict us.”
Meridith Corwin spent more than six weeks in Africa on two mission trips, including one to the Haven, an orphanage in Zambia where OC graduate Meagan Hawley (03) works.
On the mission trip to Zambia, five OC students, led by OC marketing services coordinator Jana Miller (09), spent one-on-one time with the children, helped them develop skills, and showed them love and attention they normally wouldn’t receive.
Corwin, a biology major, gained global medical experience as her team in Rwanda shadowed doctors in rural hospitals, observed how they treated their patients and discovered prominent problems in those settings.
“Going on mission trips helps me develop patience and tolerance in learning how to love people,” Corwin said.
In addition to these projects, 18 interns went to eight different countries, ranging from Vanuatu to Austria. These interns dedicated six to eight weeks of their summer to join an already-established mission team and experience the life of long-term missionaries in that country.
“I feel like I have been changed because I now recognize the ways I can change other people around the world,” Shannon Lee, an intern in Coleraine, Ireland, said. “I remember the people every day and try to live my life at OC in a way to build the kind of relationships I build in Ireland.”
Lee was one of two interns who worked at a camp seeking to be a ministry of reconcilation; it brought teenagers from Catholic and Protestant backgrounds together to talk through religious and political issues that have divided Ireland for generations.
“How many times have I heard students say, ‘I’m a different person. It changed the ways I see the world, how I see God, how I see the church and changed the way I saw myself and what it means to love my neighbor?’” Langford said. “Mission work has the power to transform, teach, mold and shape people in ways that classrooms can’t.”
View more stories from the Fall 2014 issue of Vision magazine.