Junior nursing major Angela Parker put not only her faith into practice this summer, but also her medical skills as she served on a rural healthcare team on the island of Mindanao, Philippines.
The first few days were spent adjusting to the environment.
She said, “Culturally, there were a couple of silly things that were weird, like lip pointing. Filipinos point with their lips. I’ve been out of the country before, but never to a place like the Philippines.”
Parker was on the island for two months and got plenty of practical nursing experience in between Bible studies and house-to-house evangelism.
“I learned so much about medicine in a Third World country and was given hands- on experience with doing immunizations … and prenatal care, wound care and some herbal remedies. I can suture now, and that’s pretty cool,” she said.
Parker enjoyed putting the medical knowledge she has gained at UMHB into action.
“I learned a lot about patient care too, working with people that you really can’t communicate with very well.”
The opportunities had allowed Parker to witness varying medical practices on two opposite sides of the world.
“I got to see the difference between healthcare in a hospital here and in the mountains and in the jungle. I really think I can apply that to my semester,” she said.
Parker believes that college is a prime time to go on mission trips, but recognizes the importance of a genuine heart in those trips.
“After you graduate, you don’t have a two-month break. I think short term missions in your life can affirm if long-term missions are in your future,” she said.
Parker encourages students to be intentional with their mission trips, and not to go for the sake of going. However, if students feel called, they should go.
Junior math major Brittney King said, “If it’s the Lord’s goal for everyone to hear the Gospel, that should be our goal as well.”
King served as an intern for iGo Global, mobilizing and training students to do mission work overseas. It was an opportunity she was eager to experience.
“I wanted to see how the work that I can do here can send students to go all over the world,” King said.
Having been on mission trips before, she knew what it was like to be sent, but had never considered what happens stateside while students are living overseas.
King said, “I took for granted the sending side of the process. When I had gone before, I never stopped to think about all the work that has to go into sending students. It seems like an easy process, but behind the scenes it’s a lot more.”
The seemingly mundane office tasks she completed in Wylie, Texas, this summer helped equip hundreds of students to effectively minister to people in nine different countries.
Though it was difficult to stay motivated through the whole summer, King enjoyed the six other interns who were working alongside her and found encouragement in them, as well as reports from the students.
“It was cool to have them come back and hear reports of what the Lord is doing and finding joy in the fact that I wasn’t there but I got to be alongside them praying,” King said.
Sophomore computer graphics design major Jacob Brenton spent the middle of July in Paris, France. He was focused on relational evangelism with predominately Muslim North African refugees.
Brenton traveled to Paris with iGo Global, which he had found out about a year earlier at a Super Summer camp.
One of his most memorable experiences was with a street artist whom his team had been praying for.
“We were praying that we would reflect Christ so well in Paris that people would notice it,” he said. “We start talking with him and he stops the conversation and says, ‘I can see Jesus in your face.’”
The trip to Paris was Brenton’s first mission trip outside the United States, and it was an eye-opening experience for him.
He said, “I learned a lot about the need every person has for the Gospel and Christ, not just to share my story with people, but his.”