Next spring break, 200 or more high school students and teachers will embark on a life-changing trip, but the preparation and anticipation for the upcoming missions season begins in early fall.
Students anticipate applying for one of Wesleyan’s best opportunities. Senior and mission trip veteran Daniel Baisier stated that what makes Wesleyan missions particularly special is “the fact that most schools don’t give you the chance to do this, but [Wesleyan] actively encourages it. You’ll never feel unusual for participating.”
Last year, nine spring break trips were offered for high school students, including travels to Atlanta, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Nicaragua and a servant-leadership opportunity on the middle school Chattanooga trip. No two trips were the same; every team faced different environments and amazing experiences. Lower school teacher Laura Jensen said, “You get to know people you might not ever meet at Wesleyan and spend your spring break in a place you might never get to see otherwise with some of the most beautiful and loving people.”
The complete community involvement in Wesleyan missions contributes to its immense success that has students coming back year after year. Dean of Student Ministries Alex Bufton said, “There is such a great community here at Wesleyan and it’s only deepened by the relationships that form both before and during the trip. . .Watching students experience God in a new way outside the walls of Wesleyan is incredible.”
From the teachers who chaperone to the lower schoolers who write letters, the entire school is making a difference somewhere in the world. Bible Department Chair Glenn Archer mentioned Matthew 28:18-20 as a verse that encompasses the theme of Wesleyan missions: “‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ It’s likely you are going somewhere you’ve never been when participating in a mission trip, but it’s helpful to know the comfort that God is always with you.”
Sophomores, juniors and seniors can apply for spring break trips. Mission trip participant and senior Jeb Brown advised that anyone considering applying for a mission trip should “have an open mind. Go outside of your comfort zone. You might be with people you don’t know, but be open to doing whatever God wants you to do.”
Many students describe Wesleyan mission trips as a unique spiritual opportunity. After going on the Atlanta mission trip, junior Laura Von Bargen said, “Being able to go on a trip as a sophomore really humbled me. . .I [realized] God put us on the trip for a specific purpose; He wants to teach us something.”
The 2018 mission trip locations were revealed in chapel on Sept. 28. This year, Wesleyan will be serving in Atlanta, Bulgaria, Chattanooga, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic (girls and co-ed), Ecuador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. As excitement for the mission season arises, Archer advises students to “Apply for everything. Ask questions of those who have been before—students and teachers. Pray specifically, individually and with friends, about how God might use you. As we enter the mission season, be expectant about some awesome things ahead.”