In Mexico, South Asia and Thailand, three teams of OBU students worked to develop relationships and sow seeds during January. GO Trips, organized by OBU's Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach, are designed to provide hands-on field experience.
Martha Hernandez, assistant professor of nursing, took a team of 11 nursing students to Calcote, Mexico, for a cross cultural health program.
"We have a contact in Colcote who is a missionary nurse. She has been working as a nurse for 17 years and has an established practice in the area," said Hernandez. "We worked with her and a faith based group at the local clinic."
For two weeks the team, comprised of junior and senior nursing students, worked with the clinic to observe different disease processes and study the community. After a week, the team took two days and traveled to a native Indian village where they set up a home clinic.
"We saw over 170 patients in two days," said Hernandez. "The students got to worked with vital signs, the pharmacy, administer medication, shadow nurse practitioners, do some health teaching and work with the children."
The students were able to share the Gospel through their medical assistance and testimonies to an area which contains more than 155 different language groups.
"Nursing has really collaborated with the go teams. We are an academic field, but we want to integrate our faith with learning," said Hernandez. "Students always come back changed because they have been exposed to a different culture and something so new."
Eight other OBU students traveled to Thailand for four weeks to teach English around the country.
"We taught English everywhere we went. That usually entailed going to a school for a day and teaching what was in the lesson plan," said a member of the team.
The team served in four different locations around Thailand, taking each location as a chance to sow seeds in the hearts of the villagers and the students.
"Our impact was in sowing the seeds not necessarily reaping the harvest," said the team member.
Through teaching, singing and story telling, the team worked to use every opportunity to engage the Thai people and gain their interest.
"When we went to South Thailand, we were able to go into some villages. At each village, we shared our testimonies with the villagers," said the team member. "In South Thailand they seemed to be more open. For the most part it was people's first time hearing about Jesus or hearing about the gospel."
The OBU global outreach coordinator (name has been omitted for security purposes), and Dale Griffin, OBU campus minister, traveled with a team of 13 to South Asia to continue developing OBU's relationship with the Kai people.
The Kai people are one of the largest groups of unreached and unengaged people groups in the world. OBU adopted the Kai with hope to increase their knowledge and trust in God so that they can establish their own churches.
"Many Kai are on their faith journey to Christ. They really seem to be seeking," said OBU's global outreach coordinator. "In one particular part there are now 30, believers which is exciting especially because they are all spread out."
OBU global outreach coordinator said that in some areas there are already pre-churches or Bible study groups starting among the Kai. OBU global outreach coordinator and Griffin were encouraged with the Kai's interest and also with the teams initiative to continue developing OBU's relationships with the Kai people.
"I realized that Jesus has called us to be light wherever we are," said one GO team member. " No matter where I am or what I am doing, I want to live the kind of life that always encourages people and points them to Jesus."
The team used their time in South Asia to relay Bible stories to the Kai- most of whom are illiterate- and prayer walk around the villages.
"Being able to share Bible stories with the people group that you have been praying for is an amazing experience," said another GO Team member, "God is moving among the Kai people."
"It was encouraging to see students share stories from their heart. It was really exciting to see what God is doing with them," said OBU global outreach coordinator.
The Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach offers GO trips throughout the year to areas around the world. For details, visit /go/research/teams.html for more information.