By Melanie J. Knox, Opinion Editor
This summer, many students are trading in the heat, dust and wind of Abilene for a temporary home overseas as missionaries.
Lindsey Webb, junior music major from College Station, is going to Thailand with a program called “Let’s Start Talking.”
Webb, three students and one ACU graduate will be teaching Thai children English using the book of Luke.
“By using the gospel to teach them English, questions will come up and it will give us the opportunity and relationship to tell them something they might not otherwise hear,” Webb said.
Travis Arnold decided to spend the summer living in a wooden box on stilts in the jungles of Papua, New Guinea.
Arnold, a junior intercultural communications major from Overbrook, Kan., said he just wanted to go somewhere remote.
Arnold will be with a group from Worldwide Witness, but they will all be arriving and leaving at different times and working on different projects.
“I’m just going to hang with people my age in the village and show them that you can have fun and be a Christian,” Arnold said. “I also want to show them that it isn’t a religion for women and children, but that you can be a real man and a real Christian, too.”
Arnold is looking forward to his 11 weeks in the jungle.
“I can’t wait to get there,” he said. “I’m seriously taking my mosquito net.”
Matt Ellis, a graduate student in Christian ministry from Portland, Ore., will head to Thailand as well, but with a different program called Worldwide Witness.
He and three students will be ministering to the campuses and the students there.
“I have always wanted to go into youth ministry and every summer I had a youth internship,” he said. “But in the back of my mind, I kept envisioning something overseas. I heard about this program and I thought, ‘Why not me?'”
Cami Brunts, sophomore exercise science major from San Antonio, wanted to experience something new and grow closer to God, so she signed up to go to Mbale, Uganda.
She will be following the missionaries while they visit village churches and help them encourage the people there.
“I hope to return with humility and a stronger faith,” Brunts said. “I’m excited to see a new culture and become involved with it and the people.”
Gabriel Vadney, junior missions major from Abilene, feels called to the United Kingdom.
He chose to go with Worldwide Witness to Dundee, Scotland, because of the short term appeal.
Vadney emphasized that although many people think that overseas missions is for missions majors only, people of all professions are needed.
“I’m convinced that if you want to learn the will of God, there’s no better place for you to do that than to spend time outside your comfort zone,” Vadney said.