The missions department at ACU and Worldwide Witness are preparing to send students out as interns around the world for various ministry opportunities this summer.
Worldwide Witness is a program that allows students interested in ministry to gain experience and go to different cultures and put ministry into practice. Larry Henderson, the missions coordinator with the Halbert Institute of Missions on campus, has been teaching the preparation class, Service in Global Context, this semester.
“We hope that mission sites around the world will be encouraged,” Henderson said. “We hope that our students will bring some energy, some vibrancy and some fresh blood to what is being done in various places. And we want our students to learn.”
There are currently 79 students in the program, with 75 of them going as interns on mission trips to various places such as South Africa, northern Thailand, Europe, Peru, Australia, New Zealand and other places. The missions department has sent out over 730 students since it began.
Jenna Johnson, sophomore English and vocational missions major from Tucson, Ariz., will go to Zambia with her brother who is a freshman at Messiah College in Pennsylvania.
“We both definitely have a heart for missions,” Johnson said. “I want to do it with English and teaching and he’s wanting to do it through agriculture and sustainability. I ended up talking to Larry and they were totally on board.”
Worldwide Witness does not actively recruit freshman, however, many freshman will be going as interns this summer with the program, all doing different types of ministry.
Bree Foster, freshman psychology major from Glenn Heights, will go to Brazil.
“So far I have learned so much about how American culture is contrasted with non-Western culture,” she said. “It has really put into perspective how to reach people different from how I know Jesus. I hope to have an even deeper understanding of how the world works, to see people come to the Lord, and to watch people break free from the chains that bind them.”
Mat Medders, freshman undeclared major from Benton, Ark., will go to Arequipa, Peru.
“What I hope to get from this is the experience of learning what it’s like to live the life of a missionary and to understand how social justice causes work in other countries,” Medders said. “And I hope to have a little bit of culture shock so I can come back to the USA knowing what is wrong and what is right with society.”
Alli Collins, freshman family studies major from Vista, Calif., will go to Auckland, New Zealand.
“I couldn’t imagine going on a missions trip now without having taken the class,” Collins said. “You have to be prepared not only for the culture that you’re going into but the way that people listen to Jesus. Different cultures listen to Jesus in such different ways, and you can’t just go in preaching in an American way.”