Eagles soar internationally: Students open up about summer experiences

Over the summer, many students travelled abroad to learn and serve. Submitted Photo.

Over the summer, many students travelled abroad to learn and serve. Submitted Photo.

As classes return to session, recollections of summer adventures begin at Oklahoma Christian University. Many Oklahoma Christian students travelled the globe to fill their summer calendars.

Center for Global Missions 

Abby Lorentz spent part of her summer in Thailand. Submitted photo.
Abby Lorentz spent part of her summer in Chaing Mai, Thailand. Submitted photo.

Junior Abby Lorentz served a 10 -week internship in Chiang Mai, Thailand, over summer break. Lorentz contacted Oklahoma Christian Director of Center of Global Missions, Ben Langford, for the opportunity to intern internationally through the Center of Global Missions.

“I grew up with friends from international backgrounds and this was my opportunity to go and serve in Thailand,” Lorentz said.

In Thailand, Lorentz served with 15 interns from various parts of the world. Her responsibilities included teaching English to students ranging from kids in children’s homes to refugees from Burma. Lorentz helped in an English camp for individuals using vocabulary, Bible verses and Biblical principles as curriculum.

“I understood some times would be stressful but giving God my anxieties helped,” Lorentz said. “I’ve carried that mentality back here to Oklahoma with me as I start the new school year,” Lorentz said.

During her internship, Lorentz worked with Robert Reagan, a long-time missionary in Thailand. Lorentz said Langford’s encouragement, experience and knowledge in the mission field gave her and her parents peace of mind for this trip.

“Ben would not send anyone to a place that is considered unsafe or to work with missionaries who are unfamiliar to him,” Lorentz said.

Lorentz said she appreciated how Langford treated her as an adult, allowing her to “dip her toes into the water of the mission field” by way of not giving her all the logistics of her journey, but supplying Lorentz with the information she needed to feel secure in her travels.

Lorentz previously interned with the Center of Global Missions alongside fellow Oklahoma Christian classmates Jessica Wilson and Sarah Jones in Tauranga, New Zealand.

HonduraServe

Paige Green and other OC nursing students participated in HonduraServe, a summer mission trip to Honduras. Submitted photo.
Paige Green and other OC nursing students participated in HonduraServe, a summer mission trip to Honduras. Submitted photo.

Twenty Oklahoma Christian nursing students traveled to Catacamas, Honduras to practice their skills and live out the curriculum they are learning in school.

HonduraServe gave me a higher respect for the nursing program and how much time they spend to care about us,” senior Paige Green said.

The students’ first week in Honduras was spent in schools assessing students’ medical needs. During the second week, they returned to the city of Catacamas and visited hospitals to conduct assessments on children.

“The culture in Honduras made it different from what we are used to in the States,” Green said. “We had to bring all of our supplies along with us. We also had to figure which child held the biggest priority which is really hard because you want to get every child the treatment that they need,” Green said.

The students planned the days of assessment for the children. They switched off each day allowing another student to be the charge nurse who would be responsible for the whole group that day.

“It’s really cool to see that I can go with the people I’m surrounded with and we all have a mission mindset, which is something you don’t find many places,” Green said.

Green said the trip helped her see the skills and concepts she is learning in the nursing program at Oklahoma Christian in a different way.

“In school you can see the correlation from a mannequin to a person,” Green said. “But it was neat to be able to have examples that provide a better perspective as to what we’ll see as nurses in real life.”

Green said HonduraServe helped her develop a confidence in herself outside of a hospital environment that she is familiarized with.

First Class

25 incoming OC freshman partake in the second annual First Class program. Submitted photo.
25 incoming OC freshman participated in the second annual First Class program. Submitted photo.

For 10 days in the summer, 25 incoming freshman bonded in Vienna, Austria as part of Oklahoma Christian’s First Class program.

The 25 students spent their mornings in devotionals and earning credit for their first Oklahoma Christian Bible class with Dean of Spiritual Life, Jeff McMillon. Students were able to spend  their afternoons on site tours with Oklahoma Christian’s president John deSteiguer.

Jancy Scott, associate director of admissions and a sponsor for First Class, is responsible for promoting the program to incoming students throughout the year.

“Not only do they have a class together, but they are able to worship and travel together which is such a bonding agent for these incoming freshman,” Scott said.

This is the second year the International Programs office has offered the First Class program.

“A few of the kids on the trip were the only ones from their cities to come to OC, so after the trip they now have familiar faces on-campus once they arrive for fall semester,” Scott said. “It gives these students a sense of belonging, home, adventure and friendship within the Oklahoma Christian community before they ever step foot on campus.”

First Class gives students a glimpse of what the European Studies program is like should they decide to go later in the academic careers at Oklahoma Christian.

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