Canton Foley spent her summer in Houston, Texas, working with the Mission Centers of Houston. She was very busy the entire time, working with six different ministries at once. These included a homeless ministry, a food pantry, and children’s and youth clubs. Canton particularly enjoyed the homeless ministry and the food pantry, saying that she has “a heart for homeless people.” She remembers one homeless man with whom she formed a special friendship. This man was sick and had recently been robbed, but Canton was able to encourage him in his faith. By helping him, she was able to see more of what God’s purpose is for her own life. As she said, “That’s when everything just clicked.”
Brie Schmidt went with Summer Sojourners, an International Mission Board organization, to Santiago, Chile. There, she served in many different capacities, such as teaching a children’s Sunday School and leading Bible studies for youth and adults. She also taught English to children in several schools. Brie shared that she is called to missions, so this trip helped further that calling. She especially enjoyed the Bible studies, saying that working with high schoolers is what God specifically wants her to do.
Jake Heffner also worked with Summer Sojourners, spending several weeks in São Paulo, Brazil. This wasn’t his first time in the country, but it was the first time he had gone with the express purpose of sharing the Gospel. He partnered with a local believer, and on the weekdays they worked with children. On the weekends, the two of them went to various churches in the city, where Jake would preach and his partner would lead worship. Jake stated that he greatly enjoyed this part of the trip, and he grew in his relationship with God through it. Through the trip, God showed him what it means to be truly passionate for Him, as well as how to have compassion for those around us.
Though the trips covered a wide range of activities, the common thread for each of these students was their growth in God, particularly in what it means to live missionally. “We don’t need to just wait till we’re on a mission trip to share the Gospel and to invest in people’s lives,” Brie Schmidt maintained. The trips gave the students the tools they needed to learn how to share Jesus with others, and they are eager to continue serving Him at home.