By Mallory Sherwood, Staff Writer
Last summer, Justin Tuggle wanted to see what mission work was all about.
He spent 10 weeks in Chiang Mai, Thailand, evangelizing to university students alongside other Christians on campus, and he discovered something.
“Foreign missions is exciting,” said Tuggle, graduate student in Bible from Edmond, Okla. “It is a chance to really put into use your faith. You really find out what you believe in so you can communicate it to others.”
Tuggle participated in the WorldWide Witness program, a program that sends students in teams of two to four across the world to 20 different locations for six to 10 weeks to apply what they have learned in the classroom to the real world by actually participating, said Wimon Walker, instructor in the department of Bible, Ministry and Missions and co-director of the program.
The program will accept students throughout the month of October. It is designed for students of any major who are interested in interning and working with missionaries in a cross-cultural setting, either in a different country or in the United States next summer.
Some of the internships include studying Spanish and working with cell churches in Mexico City, evangelism in Chile, outreach to youth in the Bronx, New York, working with students in the public school system in England, participating in urban and rural ministry in Tanzania and Uganda and working with youth in Australia.
Students who are interested in the internship can apply online at bible.acu.edu/witness, or call directors Wimon Walker or Gary Green for more information. Walker said interest meetings will take place later this week, and students should know if they have been accepted and where they are going by Thanksgiving.
Brent Hines went to New Zealand last summer through the program and said he applied because he felt called to go.
“I’ve always wanted to travel, and especially to work with the church,” said Hines, sophomore international relations major from Belton. “As Christians, there is nothing else for us to do than to build up the church; if our purpose is just to be saved, then baptize me and kill me because it is the easiest way to go.”
After applying, students will be interviewed by the administration of the World Wide Witness program before beginning a training program, which begins in January, giving them time in December to begin raising funds to cover airfare and living expenses in the various countries. The precise amount to be raised depends on the location, but the average cost is around $3,000.
Since Chapel on Sept. 29, close to 40 people have shown interest in participating, Walker said, adding he hopes to have 75 people intern this summer. Since the program began three years ago, 110 total students have participated. It has continued to grow and this year has partnered with the program Let’s Start Talking.
This ministry sends teams of students throughout the world to teach the Bible through conversational English using the Gospel of Luke. WorldWide Witness is taking responsibility for recruiting and training students to participate in this program and travel next summer to Germany, Japan, Peru and Switzerland.
These programs were started to help students find an involvement with missions in their lives, Walker said. He said he wants students to go to experience missions firsthand and find out whether it is even for them or not.
“People should go,” Hines said. “Just go. Do something.”