During Spring Break, 35 students and teachers from the Eastern Christian community used their vacation as an opportunity to serve as the hands and feet of Christ in various places around the world. This year, three teams were sent out through our partner Touch The World following months of training and preparation both inside and outside of class and successfully returned with stories of lives changed, both in the communities they served in and within their own hearts.
The Kansas City Team, though they stayed within the walls of America, met families from around the world as they served alongside Open Door Refugee Ministries. The team’s focus was to encourage and serve alongside this ministry to refugees trying to assimilate to a new home. The students helped teach ESL lessons to new English speakers from Burma, assisted with moving Congolese refugees just relocated to the USA from refugee camps into their first American homes, and they worked tirelessly on Open Door’s farm that will help establish a source of provision for the newly relocated families.
The Guatemala Team partnered with Potter’s House Guatemala, staying in Guatemala City near the largest garbage dump in Central America. Here Potter’s House empowers families who are living off of the dump and particularly focuses on treating the children of these families as “treasures” instead of trash. The team helped run a week-long Bible School program for children in the community and loved the opportunity to build relationships with the kids through games, songs, crafts and conversation. Additionally, the team assisted a community health care center with painting and other projects. A highlight for the team was taking prayer walks in the community, getting to enter people’s home and hear their stories, be encouraged by their faith and join together as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Lastly, The Tanzania Team ran a Vacation Bible School for 3 elementary school classes for Divine School, a small Christian School in Dar es Salaam, the capital city. They focused on creating art reflecting God’s creation with our own, and using materials that are in short supply to these students. The team of students also taught the young children computer skills and played sports with them, using these opportunities of fun to cultivate relationship. Of course, while in country they took time to explore the culture of Tanzania and were deeply impacted by their times learning from their host missionaries.
Students recently shared experiences in our weekly chapel.
Family and friends are also invited to attend a Missions Return Rally on Saturday, May 18th at Powerhouse Christian Church, 7pm to hear more stories from all of the Eastern Christian teams as well as other school teams sent out during this spring by Touch The World.
By: Andrea Kroeze
Andrea teaches the Cross-Cultural Perspectives course at EC in partnership with Touch the World.