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Students Engage People, Cultures on GO Trips

March 29, 2011

For students at OBU, Global Outreach Trips are a way to engage people in other parts of the world to share such necessities as medicine, compassion and faith. "GO Trips" provide valuable hands-on experience for students to integrate their faith with all areas of knowledge, part of the university's mission.

Among the OBU-sponsored trips during the recent January Term, two teams traveled to different parts of South Asia, and one group journeyed to Peru.

One of the South Asia groups went to minister to the Kai people, a population of about 2.7 million. The Kai people are one of the largest of 600 unengaged and unreached people groups -- the total of which numbers over half a billion people -- who have not had a Gospel witness among them. OBU "adopted" the Kai through a movement known as Finishing the Task. By adopting this people group, OBU and its Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach have committed to serve and share among the Kai until at least the year 2025.

Another group of students went to South Asia to help assist with Rahab's Rope, a program that partnered with OBU. Rahab's Rope works to help victims of human trafficking by educating them and giving them medical treatment. OBU students were able to educate and do prevention work with children through Vacation Bible School and working in a health clinic. They also assisted with the sewing class that Rahab's Rope provides for women in their teens and 20s.

The students ministering in Peruvian villages included (from left) Lauren Whitlow, a junior from Bentonville, Ark.; Brandon Melton, a freshman from Oklahoma City; Jennifer Jett, a freshman from Shawnee, Okla.; and Cara Cecil, a senior from Kansas City, Mo.

"OBU has encouraged me, as well as others, to step out of our little boxes in order to a see a world that is in need of the love that Jesus Christ has to offer," said Lauren Smith, a sophomore applied communications major from Greenwood, Ark. "I feel as though I was encouraged to accept the calling that God put in my life and not just dream about it, but act upon it."

The group that traveled to Peru led church services, Bible studies and a children's church service that met several times a week. They also conducted medical clinics and distributed eye glasses.

"During the trip we were able to engage and build relationships with the community through soccer, volleyball and community meals," said Cara Cecil, a senior biology major from Kansas City, Mo. "Towards the end of the trip, three teenage boys came to Christ. We had the pleasure of discipling them for the next several days."

The students also engaged with the Peruvian people through hunting, fishing, storytelling and Vacation Bible School activities.

"We wanted to go build relationships with people in remote Peruvian villages," Cecil said. "The need for the Gospel and especially discipleship there is deep. We wanted to encourage and teach about Christ and how to live a life that honors Christ."

For more information about OBU GO Trips, click here.

Amy Singmaster, an OBU junior from Perry, Okla., handles a snake during a recent Global Outreach Trip to Peru. Global Outreach Trips allow OBU students an opportunity to engage a diverse world - including a vast array of people, cultures and animals.