Most students who take part in Maranatha’s Global Encounters missions trip program return with unique stories to tell.
Timothy McKinney’s was just a little more unique than others.
“I helped deliver a baby,” said McKinney, a senior Nursing major and part of a seven-person medical missions team that traveled to central Africa in March to help at a hospital in Chad.
“We had more applications this year than open positions,” Bible Department Chair and Global Encounters Coordinator Brian Trainer said. “That is significant when you consider the number of students, faculty, and staff going out this summer (131) is close to being the most we’ve ever had.”
Maranatha also sent 18 students to New York City during spring break. Those students assisted with church services and food distribution to the needy through Bread of Life Ministries. A team of Maranatha football players traveled to Israel immediately after graduation for two weeks that included a game against an all-star team from the Israel Football League. Another group left the same day for a 42-day cultural immersion trip to Central Asia that will expose them to the realities of ministry in restricted-access countries.
Team Albania spent 10 days in late May working with Operation Renewed Hope at a medical clinic for gypsies in Tirana and assisting the ministry of missionary Mike Fiocchi. This was the first Global Encounters trip to Albania.
The third Global Encounters trip to Ukraine included three weeks of children’s and teens’ day camp ministries with Baptist International Evangelical Missions. Student Amber Campbell has been part of all three Ukraine trips.
“The Christian circle in Ukraine is so welcoming and a joy to be a part of,” Campbell said. “The pastors, church members, and children have a heart for God that can be seen without a translator.”
A Maranatha team is scheduled to spend a month teaching English and encouraging restricted-access believers in the Far East from July 8 to Aug. 8. The fifth missions trip to Argentina (July 16-Aug. 8) will see Music Department Professor Emeritus Dr. Monty Budahl conduct 17 performances in a 14-day span. The students will also work at a youth camp winter retreat (remember, it’s winter in Argentina).
The final group to arrive at its destination will be Team Ireland (July 19-Aug. 9), which will lead revival meetings and Vacation Bible School for missionaries in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
“Our group of 18-to-22 year-olds raised more than $300,000 to go spread the gospel this summer,” Trainer said. “The Lord proved himself faithful again. That’s one of the terrific lessons our students learn from their Global Encounters experiences.”
“We serve a God who has no limits, and three weeks of a summer can mean one more soul in Heaven,” Campbell said. “Global Encounters is worth the investment