For students wanting to go on a mission trip this summer, Oklahoma Christian University’s Center for Global Missions provides several opportunities to serve all over the world.
Five different African mission trips are offered across the continent. Lawrence Murray, a psychology professor, is taking students to Ethiopia to serve in rural and urban environments with a focus on children and evangelical events. Jeff McMillon leads a group every summer to Ghana in West Africa to serve at the Village of Hope orphanage. Students help the orphanage run a Vacation Bible School (VBS) program and provide nearby villages with clean water.
A partnership with international students from Rwanda allows them to share their home country with current Oklahoma Christian students. Students will live with Christian families during their time in Rwanda while serving nearby churches and helping build wells with Rwandans4Water. One mission project in Malawi focuses on providing support for Malawi Orphan Ministries, providing housing and education for orphaned children.
The Chimala Mission Hospital in Tanzania is also a destination for mission trips. This mission serves Tanzania and parts of Zambia, and Oklahoma Christian students assist the hospital in reaching out to nearby churches to teach VBS and interact with the communities.
“We lived on the mission in the guest house and we worked in the hospital during the weekdays,” junior Caitlin Young, part of last summer’s mission team to Chimala, said. “We quickly became like family to Cheryl Bode, the full-time missionary in Chimala, and with the hospital staff.”
Three-week trips to New Zealand and Germany are also offered through Oklahoma Christian at the end of May. The New Zealand trip, led by Bobby Kern, offers the chance to travel to High Ground, NZ in a mission trip that blends camping, hiking and serving into one experience. Clint and April Everhart run the mission trip in Chemnitz, Germany, interacting with students in the city and encouraging them to attend church events.
Teaching opportunities within missions are available as well. HonduraServe, described as a “practicum type experience,” is well-suited for nursing, science, Spanish, education and TEFL majors to utilize their major, while working at a mission in Catacamas, Honduras.
Let’s Start Talking, an immersive program centered around teaching English in foreign countries, runs three to six-week mission trips in a variety of continents and countries. Students can form small teams of people and pick where they want to serve out of dozens of approved locations.
Senior Rett Parker traveled to Ukraine with Let’s Start Talking during his freshman year. Using the book of Luke, Parker said he and his teammates were able to impact the lives of others while experiencing a new culture.
“The experience of adult living and working with the people was enlightening and formative,” Parker said. “We got to work with many different types of people, including members from the church and refugees from eastern Ukraine.”
Kibo Group International, a nonprofit serving the people of Uganda, works with Oklahoma Christian faculty and students to help the country. Parker has worked with them as well, where he said he learned how little he knew about their culture.
“I learned a lot about listening to and respecting the knowledge and insight of the local people, especially since they knew how to live out there and I had no clue,” Parker said. “Working with the churches and Kibo workers showed me how far I needed to come to learn how to work cross-culturally.”
Further details and updated dates for all mission trips can be found online through Oklahoma Christian’s Center for Global Missions.
For students who want to stay closer to home, Rural America Ministries offers a 30-day mission trip to rural Oklahoma communities. This trip provides ministry training experience as well as the opportunity to spend time in a rural part of the country. In addition, students involved in the Edmond Campus Ministry have the chance to be involved with mission trips in places influenced by the Edmond Church of Christ. Past trips have been to New York City, Canada and as far away as Brazil.