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An education in evangelism

Mission: The Master’s College students recently returned from trips in 8locations around the world

Posted: August 6, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: August 6, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

Fifty-five students from The Master’s College in Santa Clarita just returned from short-term missions trips in eight locations around the world.

“We as Christians feel as if there is a mandate in Scripture that says we are to go into all the world and preach the Gospel,” said Dr. Lisa La George, the director of global outreach at The Master’s College and organizer of the missions trips.

“That’s why we go overseas,” La George said.

The 55 students formed into eight teams and went to Ireland, Latvia, Russia, Malawi, South Africa, China, the Philippines and Taiwan, La George said. Each team had a man and a woman as leaders.

Before students go on missions trips, they have to take a class on global missions work, La George said. Each student was also responsible for fundraising and securing their own passports and immunization shots, La George said.

According to La George, students went with the purpose of sharing the Christian gospel, and when possible, doing so in a way that relates to their area of study.

For example, premed students would help in a hospital or clinic, La George said.

The trips are a minimum of five weeks long, and can last up to two months.

“At first, students think this is the greatest thing ever,” La George said. “Around the four- to five-week mark, they have a more realistic perspective.”

For 22-year-old recent Master’s College graduate Mike Crawford, the reality set in quickly.

“We thought the trip was going to look like one thing,” Crawford said. “Then we get off the plane, and we hear we’re going to be doing yard work.”

The kinesiology major and Santa Clarita resident co-led the trip to Ireland. The team helped clean up an orphanage and reached out to Gypsies.

“The trip taught me that there is no such thing as worthless work,” Crawford said. “Anything that the lord is at the center of has an eternal purpose.”

According to Crawford, Gypsies are social pariahs in Europe. But working with them showed that everyone needs help and the Christian Gospel, Crawford said.

Cameron Smith, a 20-year-old junior kinesiology major from San Luis Obispo, co-led the team to South Africa. Smith’s team helped organize a high school camp, ran a vacation Bible school and put on a blanket drive for refugees at a local church.

“I wanted to do the summer camp,” Smith said. “I just really love summer camps.”

According to Smith, he was encouraged that he could use the Bible to answer tough theological questions that kids at the camp asked him.

The trip overall went more smoothly than expected, Smith said.

“The hardest part was doing door-to-door evangelism,” Smith said. “But that’s awkward, no matter what country you’re in.”

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