Please note: Only partial names were used in this story, for security purposes. Last names were intentionally left off for all members of the group for safety reasons.
A group of Oklahoma Baptist University students and a faculty mentor recently traveled to Hawaii on a multi-week, cross-cultural ministry experience. The journey was a Global Outreach (GO) Trip, with the purpose of extending the Gospel of Jesus Christ while also giving students a chance to experience a different culture.
Lindsay served as the faculty sponsor for the team which traveled to Oahu, Hawaii, from Jan. 2 to Jan. 17. She serves as the wellness coordinator at the Recreation and Wellness Center (RAWC) on OBU’s campus. OBU students who participated in the trip included Ellise, Breanna and Savannah.
The purpose of the trip was to work with international students at the University of Hawaii. The team made it a point to make the international students feel welcome as soon as they landed on the island of Oahu.
Cultural exchange is an important part of any OBU GO Trip. Students are able to share their own culture with others, while also experiencing the culture of people in other states or countries. The students not only learned about the Hawaiian culture, but also about the cultures of the international students they interacted with.
The first week of their trip, the team served the international students with rides from the airport, because the students did not have a source of transportation to the university. The team partnered with the local International Baptist Centre and hosted Global Café three nights a week to create relationships with the international students and make them feel as welcome as possible.
The second week, the team took the international students on different outdoor activities, including a trip to Diamond Head Trail, one of the best Oahu hikes. On this hike, both the OBU team and the international students were able to see the beauty of Hawaii.
Most importantly, the OBU team was able to host Bible studies with students that had never heard the Gospel before. This was made possible through the intentional relationships the OBU team formed with the international students.
Lindsay commented on the team’s interactions with the international students, “You had to be upfront and intentional with the international students, and they would have so many questions about the Bible, which is amazing because that means God was already starting to work on their hearts.”
For Lindsay, the most rewarding part of the trip was seeing the love of God in the lives of the international students.
“He loves us all the same,” she said. “The relationships that were formed during this trip will be everlasting with the students, interns and the director. It was a life changing trip for me and I won’t ever forget those that I encountered while doing God’s work on the University of Hawaii’s campus.”
For more information on OBU’s Go Trips, visit www.okbu.edu/global-outreach.