10/8/2010 - Student Missionaries use summer vacation months wisely
Judson Spotlight On...
Student Missionaries Use Summer Vacation Months Wisely
By Elizabeth Tucker
Summer--the name is enough to call up fond images of the beach, lazy days taking a break from a stressful school year or a summer job or internship needed to put an impressive line on their resumes!
But for some Judson College students, summer presents the opportunity to participate in mission trips--to spread news of Jesus Christ to people who've not heard.
This past summer, Judson students literally went all over the world with the message they deem important enough to spread, rather than spend their summer on more leisurely activities.
Paula Fendley, a sophomore from Thomasville, spent two months in the Philippines with a group called the Nehemiah Teams, working in orphanages. Paula says that her experience was often difficult but also a learning experience for which she is grateful. She cited her experience as a freshman, living away from home for the first time, giving her independence and courage to spend two months working in a foreign country.
Molly Beasley, a junior from Cottonwood, worked in Canada, spending most of June and July in Cochrane in the province of Alberta. The focus of the mission trip was to form relationships with people for the purpose of evangelizing them. She had a wide range of jobs that included working in a Vacation Bible School, a soccer camp and ministering in the neighboring city of Exshaw.
Beasley's original plan was to go to Africa, but she believed God wanted her in Canada instead. She enjoyed her trip and says she learned it "takes time to build relationships to evangelize."
Jodie feels a special call to Moldova and is passionate about the country and its people. This is her fourth mission trip to the country and while she has no immediate plan to return, she hopes that God will lead her back to Moldova.
"The people of Moldova are open to God because it has been a closed [communist] country for so long," she said. "Now that it's open, Christianity is really taking off."
Laura Lee Logan, a junior from Benton, spent a week in Belize teaching in a Vacation Bible School for a local church. The VBS was successful with more than 200 children coming to hear the story of Jesus Christ.
Logan says that she began thinking about summer missions while at Judson, worshipping at the Core-a weekly worship service hosted by Campus Ministries.
Junior Amanda Nolander of Rainsville spent a month in Arlington, Texas working with inner-city children at Mission Arlington.
Bethany Rush of Thomasville and Ryan Dowling of Peterman, both juniors, spent June, July and the first week of August working with Sowing Seeds of Hope in Marion. They worked with 17 church teams doing construction, tutoring and conducting a literacy program for fifth graders.
Sarah Jean Watters, a senior from Sprott, spent a week in July in Nicaragua. She and her team members, working through the Cahaba Baptist Association, spent their time in a village painting a private Christian school and assisting Dr. Shane Lee of Marion in his medical clinic.
Paula Fendley described Christian missions as "a mandate."
"It is hard and it is scary, but living your life to bring glory to God is worth it in the end," she said.
These students are passionate about serving God, and worked long hours on these mission trips. They all agreed that glorifying God through missions was worth every moment they didn't spend enjoying a typical, comfortable summer at home.
*Article courtesy of the Judson College Public Relations Department, 334.683.5160.