The Gospel went east this past summer as three Blue Mountain students dedicated their time away from school to overseas missions. Each student spent about two months in a foreign country, spending their days serving others and sharing the good news of Jesus.
Sarah Duley went to Nairobi, Kenya, with IMB organization Nehemiah Teams, working as a counselor at Camp Blue Sky. This is a Christian camp, but many unbelieving families send their children here so they can experience an American-style camp. Sarah knew from the beginning of her application process that she wanted to go to Africa, and she credits “Divine Providence” for bringing her to Camp Blue Sky. It wasn’t an easy summer, but she enjoyed the experience of working as a counselor. “Children’s ministry is laying the foundation,” she stated. She gave an example of a girl who grew up in a Muslim family but was saved at Camp Blue Sky when she was sixteen. She came back this year as a junior counselor and was baptized at the camp. This made a great impact on Sarah, reminding her of just how great God is.
Zack Ainsworth wasn’t sure where he would spend his summer at first, but God and BSU director Tracy Moser directed him to Thailand and Malaysia. In the former country, he and his team helped with a VBS, and in the latter they worked in a construction ministry, helping lay the foundations for houses. They were able to share the Gospel through these activities, often to people who had never heard of Jesus before. Seeing people who had never heard the Gospel was a powerful experience for Zack, and he was able to witness 26 people come to faith and be baptized.
Tyler Hunt went with Nehemiah Teams to the rural regions of Indonesia. He and his team were very active the entire time, going to remote islands that had very little access to the Gospel and backpacking to various villages. Different people in the villages would take them into their homes, and the team was able to witness to them through that. Tyler enjoyed that his “sole responsibility was to be on mission,” and though the living conditions were trying at times, he was able to experience God in incredible ways. At one point, he was attempting to share the Gospel with a crowd of people in front of a mosque, but just as he started, the call to prayer began. It was impossible to hear anyone speak, but Tyler’s teammates began to pray, and seconds later the call shut off. Tyler stated that this gave him a greater understanding and awe of the power of prayer.
All three students were enthusiastic about their trips and excited about what God had taught them over the summer. Sarah Duley stressed that summer missions is a great way to explore God’s will for your life. Indeed, as these trips show, there is no experience equal to spending an entire summer dedicated to serving God.