Expanding Worldviews, Serving the Global Church
Since its origins as a missionary training institute, Gordon has retained a strong global focus. Nearly 40 percent of students study abroad at some point in their time at Gordon and 32 percent of enrolled students are either of non-white background or are international.
In line with Gordon’s missions focus, the Chapel Office offers five student-led teams to serve abroad every spring. This year they traveled to Belize, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Ecuador and West Virginia. Each team partnered with local ministries such as the LOL Ministry (Belize), Friends of Colegio Moriah (Dominican Republic) and CICRIN Nicaraguan Christian Children’s Center.
“This is a great opportunity in this time of life,” says Sarah Snodgrass, director of local and global missions, “when [students] have the time and the ability to travel before they get into work and family—to have their worldview expanded; to see the Lord in a new way through different cultures and to see how the body of Christ can come together.”
One team traveled to West Virginia to help build a school for Chestnut Mountain Ranch (CMR), a school and home in Morgantown that takes in boys who are at risk, helps them to develop spiritually and emotionally, and works toward family restoration.
“Sanding floors for tiles and painting window trim seemed like a menial task at some moments, but . . . we were doing work that will allow CMR to minister and educate kids for years and years to come,” says Jesse Cook ’19, a trip participant. “Making that possible was absolutely priceless to me.”
These mission trips not only provide students with opportunities to serve the global Church while gaining a broader perspective of the Christian community, but also offer a chance for students to take on leadership roles.
“It was great to walk with the participants as they wrestled with how to do a short-term trip well,” says Christine Seibert ’18, who led a trip to Nicaragua, “and to rejoice with them when they made connections and learned from their interactions.”
Erik Holvik ’19, another trip leader, recalled interacting with a man for whom Holvik and his team had built a home. This Dominican Republic resident had prayed for a house for eight years and was now rejoicing at how the Lord provided for him and his family.
“It was truly a blessing to hear and see how happy this man was that the Lord blessed him with a home,” says Holvik. “God uses us and also helps us, and it was evident throughout our time in the Dominican Republic.”
By Veronica Andreades ’19