Israel, Mozambique, Dominican Republic, and Fiji are just a few of the 12 missions groups that were sent out this past summer.
Each of the teams got to experience helping out and reaching others for Jesus on a global level.
This year the Global Outreach Department at Vanguard wants to send out even more groups on missions trips. Josh Harrison, Coordinator of Global & Local Outreach, desires for students to experience different cultures. He wants students to ask how they can give their lives to the cause. His biggest hope is that students will go on a mission trip and come back as different people.
“Our goal is to send out 150 to 200 students next summer and to have a team on every continent except for Antarctica,” Harrison said.
Besides the areas from summer 2010, the department wants to send students to Morocco, Spain, Greece, China, Indonesia, and India. The spring break trips will be to Nicaragua, Mexico, and Northern Ireland.
Something new this year is that seniors who have gone through the leadership programs in the past will be able to lead the summer missions groups. Previously, a faculty or staff member led the teams into different countries.
Along with the short missions trips over the summer, there are longer mission trips that are a part of the S.O.S. program. S.O.S. stands for Summer of Service. These trips typically range around two months long.
Missions week was full of all kinds of events created by student leadership in the Global Outreach Department. There was a music night in the Caf on Monday, October 18. On Tuesday, Oct. 19, the school partied at the gym with Olympic Events like dodge ball and sumo wrestling. On top of that, students got free pizza and water at the event.
“I believe that this engages students and its an ice breaker for topic of missions. This event reaches students in their environment,” junior Amanda Morgaridge said.
The event of Wednesday was held by the Caf. Students were able to browse items from 31 Bits and Krochet Kids. There were also informational booths from International Youth Initiative, Live 2 Free, and Global Outreach Department.
“I remember a faculty member saying this to me: if you don’t have a passport by the time you graduate, we have failed you,” Harrison said.
Applications for the 2011 summer missions and S.O.S programs are available in the Global Outreach Office under Huntington.
The number one obstacle for students is money. Raising the money takes a lot of effort on the part of the students. Organizing fundraising may be difficult, but there is hope.
Most of the funds that students receive for their trips are through letters to family and friends.
People are generous to give for a good cause. The Outreach Department doesn’t want anyone to be afraid of raising the money.
“If God wants you to go, and you do the work, then you’ll go,” Harrison said.
There are many other ways to get involved. There are shorter spring mission trips over the vacation. Last year there were four teams that went to Mexico, San Francisco, Costa Rica, and Ireland.
There are local outreach programs in our community. Some are for kids in after-school programs, juvenile hall, helping with the homeless, and even senior citizen bowling days.
“College students are unique. There will be only a few times where they will be in the position where they have time off, like in the summer,” Harrison said.
In Matthew 28, Jesus gave us the Great Commission. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. So you must go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.”
Harrison believes that this is exactly what young people are supposed to do. Mission trips are a great way to fulfill the calling that was given.