"Mission trips have the potential of opening ones senses to a greater need of the grace of God in their own lives and seeing that grace received in the lives of those to whom they minister."
Dr. Steve Love, Director of Global Encounters
The objective of Global Encounters is to strategically mobilize the faculty and students of Maranatha into needy regions around the world for the purpose of advancing the Kingdom of God.
Every Maranatha student is encouraged to consider taking a mission trip with Global Encounters. Of our 2015 residential graduating seniors, about one-third traveled with Global Encounters during their undergraduate years. According to Dr. Love, "This is a blessing for which we are indebted to God and a tribute to the mind-set of our student body."
Participating students are required to raise their own support for each trip, allowing donors to connect with Maranatha in a unique way. Currently, over 6,000 donors have given over 1.25 million dollars toward student mission trips. Ultimately, these funds help students partake in mission trips that mold and enhance their view of ministry, missions, and the local church.
"This trip really reminded me that the Gospel is global. It was so encouraging to see that even halfway around the world, there are believers who worship the same God I do. On this trip, I was able to see that the body of Christ isn’t contained by the borders of a country, but there really are no bounds to the Gospel!"
As part of the English camp ministry, my responsibilities were to teach the English lessons and to share Bible stories with the children. Since the theme of the camp was the solar system, I was privileged to speak on the attributes of God as they pertained to his creation. I also was able to present the Gospel to children who may not have heard it before. I am an unprofitable servant, yet I trust that God may somehow grow these seeds for a fruitful harvest.
While I was in Asia, I was challenged with being content wherever the Lord places me. In Asia, I had the opportunity to serve alongside of a young family. I was really challenged by their love for the Lord, their self-sacrifice, and their contentment and joy. This family was content to live in Asia and serve the Lord there, even though they had to give up many of the comforts and conveniences of American life. This was a big challenge to me and the Lord used it in my life to convict me about being content wherever He places me.
"Uganda was an incredible experience in my life in a lot of ways. Making the biggest impact and blessing in people's lives was also one of the biggest impacts and blessings for me in my life. I believe God did an incredible work in many lives including mine; and it was an indescribable opportunity that continues to affect people worldwide. Just with the little time that we had there, we saw the multitudes needing Christ and the fields that are "white unto harvest" (John 4:35). Going out and getting our towels dirty for the work of Christ and following His example of true servant-leadership (John 13) is how I, through this trip, want to live out my life."
"I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to go to Uganda with Operation Renewed Hope this semester, and this experience has really changed my perspective on what is truly important in life. I learned how I can serve the Lord through medical missions, because as a student I got to see and contribute to every area of the clinic. I plan to continue serving the Lord as a nurse on medical missions trips in the future."
"I learned a lot on this trip, but the lesson that has stuck with me the most was the lesson of relying on Christ's strength. I was not feeling well for the first three days, and I was becoming discouraged. I was worried how I would make it through the week, or how I would come up with the strength to work and make it through the day. Even though I was there to work and serve Christ he had to carry me through it. He was the one who gave me the strength to serve Him, without Him I would have failed."
"The medical missions trip to Uganda was a life-changing experience for me. It helped me realize to a fuller extent the opportunities that a career in nursing provides for me. Nursing care opens doors for communication with people and builds relationships that aid in reaching people with the gospel. Providing care for people's physical needs is a great way to show them Christ's love and His desire to meet their spiritual needs. I look forward to seeing how the Lord will use my nursing abilities in the future to touch people for Him."