Applications for World Wide Witness are officially due Jan. 14 for summer of 2013, but the application process has already begun.
WWW provides ACU students with the opportunity to travel to other parts of the world and be ambassadors for Christ. World Wide Witness also sends students to places within the United States. Through these summer internships students experience cultures outside of their own and apply themselves as servants in the mission field.
“They give their hearts to Jesus and the people they serve; they get the satisfaction of serving those that are often marginalized,” said Larry Henderson, missions coordinator for World Wide Witness.
There are over 60 locations on every continent available to students. Students can serve in a number of ways regarding agriculture, teaching, orphanage care, church planting, homelessness, anti-trafficking, sports ministry, campus ministry and more. Summer internships usually last 6-10 weeks.
The application process includes filling out an application, a spiritual bio, getting references and an interview. Once accepted, students must take a three credit hour upper level Bible class during the spring semester before their departure. The required class is BMIS 391 Service in Global Context, specifically geared to train students who plan on taking short-term missions. Students are also prepared spiritually.
Students who complete the application process think the requirements are worth it.
“My absolute favorite experience in Thailand was the few days we got to spend working at the local orphanage for HIV/AIDS positive children, Agape,” said Ali Hayes, sophomore elementary education major from Abilene. “Those precious kids loved to see foreigners. Their precious smiles and sweet spirits showed me the true meaning of God’s love. Even with their sickness, they still had so much joy and love for the Lord. Experiencing these few days changed my life and taught me the true meaning of a joyful heart.”
Hayes visited Chiang Mai, Thailand last summer with ACU students Riley Thannum, Katie Green and Charlie Holt. Most days consisted of spending time with the head missionary, quiet time every morning, living in community with the students of Chiang Mai University and people from the local church, teaching free English classes, participating in a baking class and small groups with the church.
“This summer showed me that I cannot do everything on my own. There is absolutely no way I could spend three months across the world and not believe God made it happen for me,” Hayes said. “God filled my heart with His love for the Thai people. He completely took over my life this summer and I realized I am nothing without Him.”
WWW has sent students to other places in the world like Ghana, Bolivia, Egypt, Uganda, Zambia, Philippines, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Honduras, Peru, Russia, Turkey, and even New York and Oregon.
About 59 students have already sent in applications before the Thanksgiving break, but Henderson anticipates more applications will be sent in before school is out for Christmas break.
“I would tell anyone and everyone to go. You only have so many more summers where you are in charge of your life,” Hayes said. “Thailand was absolutely the most outrageous, spontaneous thing I have ever done for myself and I learned more about myself and my Lord in three short months than I ever had before.”