Opportunities for change: summer mission trips
This summer, NNU teams will have many opportunities to reach out and serve communities around the world. Although the purpose of mission trips is to impact others, many NNU team members find that their own lives are transformed as well. As Julene Tegerstrand, NNU director of student ministries and spiritual life, explained, “often it isn't until after the mission trip ends that we begin to understand how the mission experience has changed us. Over the last seven years of facilitating NNU On A Mission, I've loved seeing how missions and service has captured the hearts of our students and how they continue to grow in their passion for serving.”
One NNU group will be serving with the Church of the Nazarene in two coffee shops in Poznan and Krakow this May. The main ministry will be visiting local schools and offering conversational classes. The group will also partner with the Polish ministry team in offering English classes, Bible studies, cultural nights, etc. In addition to serving, the NNU team will be introduced to the historical and cultural context of ministry in Poland. During their nineteen days abroad, the team will have the opportunity to experience Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland; Berlin, Germany; and Budapest, Hungary.
A missions team will travel to Sinoe County to minister to the Liberian youth. Partnering with Innovative Education Liberia (IEL), students will engage in the community through a variety of ministries which may include—but are not limited to—children’s ministry, sports, art, computer skills and health education. One of the focuses of the trip will be to encourage young women in areas of leadership and growth. While serving there, the team will also explore how NNU might partner further with IEL and local service agencies to resource the community.
May 9-25, an NNU team will be investing their time and energy in the people of Medellin, Colombia. Partnering with the Biblical Seminary of Colombia, the team will spend two weeks living on the seminary campus, interacting with Colombian students and serving in the seminary’s outreach library. Depending on the skill set and interests of the team, potential activities and service could include leading workshops for teachers and school administrators, teaching ESL to children, visiting a local prison, leading a VBS with children, maintenance projects at the seminary, collaborating with soccer institutes in practice and evangelism, and leading lessons on forgiveness.
Eight students and their team leaders will be traveling to Haiti for a two week trip in May; one week will be spent in Port-au-Prince, and another week will be spent in a rural community. During their stay, the team will continue their ministry in Hope Home, an orphanage for children with disabilities. This is the same orphanage that inspired the 2014 mission team to start “Rippleffect,” which raised money to pay for a new water pump and cistern in the village. Team members with interest in kinesiology may help the house moms and physical therapists with hands-on physical therapy.
Kakuma, a refugee camp in Northwest Kenya, was established in 1991 and has been a safe haven for hundreds of thousands of people from surrounding countries such as Sudan and Somalia. At the end of the summer, from July 28 through August 10, an NNU missions team will be staying in Kakuma. Partnering with Africa Nazarene University, the team will facilitate the “Freedom Found Project”—a leadership camp for teenagers in the camp. The goal of the camp is to equip these young adults with skills and experiences that prepare them to better serve in their homes, schools, and communities.