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OBU Students Host VBS in Panama During J-Term

September 23, 2019

This story continues a special series, "Why GO? GO Trips 2019." All stories in the series were researched and written by Hannah West, senior communication studies major at OBU and student intern in the Marketing and Communications Office. West has served on multiple trips herself and is passionate about global service. Watch for more to come over the ensuing days and weeks.

Each year, students, faculty and staff travel around the world to participate in Global Outreach Trips or “GO Trips.” These trips take place during January, Spring Break and the summer months. Teams travel throughout the country and even internationally to fulfill OBU’s mission to “engage a diverse world” and spread the Good News.

In January of this year, a team of nine students and one faculty member traveled to El Valle, Panama, to serve the people in that area and spread the love of Christ.

While there, the team worked closely with partners in the field to work around the local church and participate in leading a Vacation Bible School for children in the community. They were also able to participate in door-to-door evangelism and prayer walking. Many students were even given the opportunity to share their testimonies with locals.

Junior natural science major Alix was amazed by Panama’s beauty.

“I have never even been out of the country before,” she said. “The location was so picturesque, easily one of the most beautiful places I have personally encountered. There were clouds and mountains so close. The people there were genuine and honest.”

Panama is not a new destination for Alix and her family.

“I chose to go to Panama because I was learning Spanish and my dad had been on a mission trip to Panama 20 years previous,” she said. “It seemed like a special place and things just seemed to fall together.”

The team worked closely with workers already based in Panama and locals to host a VBS at the local church. For Alix, being able to work the VBS and see the benefits it made within the community was the most rewarding part of the trip.

While working at the VBS, the team saw how the Lord unified people even if they don’t share a common language.

“It is incredible to see God in a different country and perspective,” she said. “He is so much bigger than any box we put Him in. And it was amazing to be used by God in such tangible ways.”