Oklahoma Christian University is expanding its mission trip destinations with a new summer opportunity for students.
Oklahoma Christian University sends students around the world for both long- and short-term summer mission trips. For the very first time, a group of students is embarking to Northern Spain.
Senior Jordan Bendy has traveled to Northern Spain before, and is now planning to take Oklahoma Christian students with her. Bendy said she decided to plan a trip when the annual group from her home church in Texas realized they could not go this year.
“The trip is two weeks long and it’s called English Cowboy Camp, so it’s cowboy themed,” Bendy said. “The point is English emersion for Spanish-speaking children. My church back home in Texas has sent a team for the last 10 years. But there has been some transitioning and they aren’t able to send a team this year.”
Bendy said her parents encouraged her to reach out to a specific community, whether it be a college or a church, so she would still be able to go on the trip. According to Bendy, the camp has grown from one week, with 20 kids in attendance, to three separate weeks of camp with 60 kids at each session.
“I just really love Spanish culture,” Bendy said. “Getting to hang out with kids, help them work on their English, while all at the same time you’re having fun. We play board games and soccer. We’re in the mountains so it’s gorgeous. You’re out of your normal life, and it’s just the overall experience and atmosphere is my favorite part.”
Although Director of Center for Global Missions Ben Langford is not going on the trip, he is helping send the team off by making necessary preparations. Langford is leading fundraising for the team, as well as purchasing tickets for students.
“We’ve had several student-led trips, as well as many staff-led trips” Langford said. “When the right student leaders come along, and they are organized, then they can do it. We actually try to encourage that.”
Langford said to his knowledge this is the first time Oklahoma Christian has sent a team to Northern Spain. According to Langford, when a student has a dream to help others, he will do what he can to ensure they have the opportunity.
“I told [Bendy] I’d love to help her, so we’ve been working together since then,” Langford said. “We are primarily sending a group because there’s someone that feels called to it, and has the desire to go and take others with them.”
Senior Mary Jo Betancourt is one of the students going on the mission trip this summer. Betancourt said she is looking forward to experiencing a new culture.
The trip is planned for June 20 through July 8, 2017. If you are interested in signing up, or need more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.