Writer: Allie Outhouse
“Missions is the heart of who we are at NGU,” said Allen McWhite, director of global missions at North Greenville University. “If we claim to be a university where ‘Christ Makes the Difference,’ then that difference must be seen in our commitment to taking the gospel to those who are still waiting to hear about and experience that difference.”
At least 25 students at the school participated in summer missions throughout the United States and Canada. Thirty-nine other students served as camp staff, and an additional 38 students participated in international summer missions throughout Asia and 20 other countries. Nine NGU graduates began their services as journeymen in Africa and Asia.
According to McWhite, NGU provided three opportunities to spread the gospel over the summer. Forty-one students responded to the call to go to Uganda, Romania, and Honduras.
The Uganda trip, comprised of 12 students, lasted from May 9 until May 20. The trip was led by Jody Jennings, director of NGU’s Baptist Student Union.
The team conducted Bible studies for women and children, worshiped with orphans and reached out to those in prisons using sports activities.
Team member Savannah Marks, from Liberty, said, “You get to know the Ugandans, to love them.” Uganda was her first overseas mission trip and one of her “most life-changing experiences.”
Jennings encouraged students to use their talents internationally. “Maybe God wants to take some of his best,” he said, “and put them in a place where they will never be heard of, never be known but will make the biggest impact for the kingdom of God.”
International missions not only provided students with a new awareness of God’s work throughout the world, but also exposed them to new cultures.
Gerald Roe, NGU intercultural studies associate professor, led 17 rising seniors to Romania from May 10 to June 3.
The NGU intercultural program trains missionaries who are called to serve for an extended period of time. Romania was a guided mission trip. It is an annual part of the intercultural practicum and required for intercultural studies majors to graduate.
“They take what they have learned to the field and learn about themselves on the field,” said Roe. “We are taking what we know of Scripture and of God and putting it into practice.”
In Romania, students worked in the inner city of Cluj to reach out to university students in nearby malls. They also aided the teachers of preschoolers and kindergarteners, and helped complete the construction of one new church.
Kortnee Belue, a student from Lexington who went to Romania, explained that she felt the trip confirmed her calling as a missionary.
NGU Spanish instructor Michelle Heard led 12 students to Honduras. The five-week trip lasted from May 11 to June 15.
Heard said the Spanish department funded the trip so students could experience immersion overseas and increase their love of Spanish. Her personal goal, however, was to provide an experience that allowed students to see the need for Jesus Christ in another culture.
Four weeks of the trip were spent in a small town near the Guatemala border. Students used their afternoons to minister to orphans and single mothers. During the final week, 10 of the students worked at a children’s home in another town, while two pre-med students assisted surgeons at a nearby hospital.