The Miracle of Missions

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Former Headmaster Zach Young once said, “Missions is one of the best things we do.” As a community Wesleyan strives to go out into the world and serve people from all walks of life, thus the missions program was founded to fulfill that great ambition. Today, the Wesleyan missions program has sent students and faculty to over 35 locations worldwide, with over 900 students and 190 faculty members participating on these life changing trips.

Wesleyan has not only exceeded the standard of excellence in our goal to serve but has also spread the word of Christ to thousands of people around the world. Every year students and faculty are commissioned by the greater Wesleyan community to do great work for the kingdom and as a result the community and the world are profoundly impacted. Christian Life Director Greg Lisson said, “We hope that the Wesleyan missions program will help members of our community to see the world around them with more clarity, wisdom, compassion, and truth. In particular, we hope that these experiences will help us to see other people the way that God sees them, and that our relationships with our neighbors would grow deeper as a result. As we’ve talked about with our Christian Life theme this year, the summation of the commandments of scripture is that we would love God and love our neighbor, and we hope these trips would help us to live out those commands more fully.”

This year 9 mission teams consisting of 214 students and 38 faculty members were commissioned to go to Atlanta, Chattanooga, Guatemala, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Bulgaria, The Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, each trip having their own objectives. However, all nine teams shared the same spiritual goal: to spread the gospel to communities around the world and to serve those who have not been afforded the same privileged lifestyle that we have benefited from.

Whether it was difficult manual labor or playing with children every student and teacher did their part and dedicated their time and effort toward bettering the world through missions.

GUATEMALA

Darby Caroll (12th)

What was your favorite part of your mission trip?
My favorite part of my mission trip was praying and getting to know the people that came to the clinics. There were translators that helped me talk to and pray for the people while they waited for their medications. I was able to pray for a 78-year-old woman who was told she was going to be blind and she was devastated. Even though she was so upset, she continued to say how much she loves God and how strong her faith was.
Who impacted you the most on your trip?
A team member that had an impact on me throughout this trip was Sydney Anderson. Over the week I saw her faith grow. She came this year determined and ready to love and serve.

Ashwin Gidwani (11th)

What was your favorite part of your mission trip?
My favorite part of my trip was spending time with Mrs. Dant.
Who impacted you the most on your trip?
Tyler Sommer and Mark Baisier had a very profound impact on me. It was incredible to see them serve in Christ’s name.

NICARAGUA

Ansley Cotter (11th)
What was your favorite part of your mission trip?
Getting to do work that was truly impactful in the lives of those I was serving, like building a house or providing concrete floors, was such a rewarding and fulfilling feeling. Also, I loved playing with the kids at VBS – they were so loving, even though I had no clue what they were saying.
Who impacted you the most on your trip?
Savannah, one of my roommates, impacted me in the way that she was so eager and willing to take on the projects that we did each day. She served with such a humble and giving heart and inspired me to do the same!

Jack Lambert (12th)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              What was your favorite part of your mission trip?
My favorite part of the trip was being able to work with my team to complete various projects around the village such as floors and stoves.
Who impacted you the most on your trip?
It was awesome to be able to hang out with Mr. Cleveland in a team setting and see him outside of being the headmaster.

COSTA RICA

Stephanie Bono (12th)
What was your favorite part of your mission trip?
I enjoyed seeing the transformation of the mural and the smiles that it brought to everyone at the school.
Who impacted you the most on your trip?
Billy was just amazing to all the kids and always seemed to know how to bring about a smile upon their face.

Zach Hanger (12th)
What was your favorite part of your mission trip?
My favorite part was going to the same school every day and I also loved just hanging out and talking when we got back from the school

BULGARIA

Alex Bone (12th)
What was your favorite part of your mission trip?
My favorite part was probably getting to meet and play with the kids. I was worried that I wouldn’t get to see any kids since I was busy painting the mural instead of being in the classrooms with them, but when the class bell rang a swarm of them would come rushing out to meet me.
Who impacted you the most on your trip?
It was really two members, Rachel Hudson and Jennifer Nolan. I finally got to know Rachel, and I learned her sense of humor was top notch (she likes dad jokes). We killed a lot of time talking and hanging out. Jennifer put a lot of effort into learning Bulgarian, and I respect that. She was basically literate and helped me read some signs in Cyrillic. The three of us were pretty much inseparable, and I can’t wait to hang out some more over some Sage Dining.

Lexi Jerding (11th)
What was your favorite part of your mission trip?
I think I speak for my entire team when I say that the trip was amazing. The whole experience was surreal. I had so much fun, it’s hard to pick my favorite part. However, I would have to say that seeing how big of an impact we had on the kids we met there was the best part.
Who impacted you the most on your trip?
On this trip, I had the chance to get to know many seniors that I did not know well before. I got especially close to senior, Alva Jones. Starting with sitting next to each other on the 9-hour plane flight, Alva and I really got to know each other. On the last night, he stepped out of his comfort zone and shared a devotion with the team. In his message, he urged us to carry our mission work in Bulgaria home with us. His message had a huge impact on me. It was definitely a good reminder of keeping our hearts and minds on the things that matter most.

ECUADOR

Ansley Jones (12th)
What was your favorite part of your mission trip?
My favorite part was definitely sanding and plastering the new community center with my team. We all worked together to “sauce” the entire building and ceiling. It was so fun to hang out with everyone, sing together and watch everyone work hard to finish the building.
Who impacted you the most on your trip?
One of the people who impacted me most on my trip was Pastor Manuel, the missionary we were working with. Throughout the whole week he showed me what it looks like to live a Christ-centered life. There was never a time throughout the whole week where Pastor Manuel wasn’t smiling or finding someone to help.

Luke Schiller (11th)
What was your favorite part of your mission trip?
My favorite part of my trip was playing soccer with the kids.
Who impacted you the most on your trip?
Michael Nicklaus really impacted me because he inspired me to work hard and help the kids of Ecuador.

DR MAKARIOS

Henry Beltrami (12th)
What was your favorite part about your trip?
My favorite part of the mission trip was seeing how much fun both us and the kids were having. It was great to see Wesleyan kids away from the stress and just filled with care free joy.
Who impacted you the most on your trip?
George had a deep impact on me. All day everyday he went hard playing with the kids or doing whatever needed to be done. It was inspiration to me to serve the lord always with all my heart.
Kelsey Rappe (12th)
What was your favorite part about your trip?
I just loved spending time with the kids at Makarios and seeing their simple joy from a caballito or being spun around or giving a hug. This joy continued when we visited them in their own communities, as they would run up to us on the street with huge smiles and open hearts, ready for another caballito (piggyback) or basketball game.
Who impacted you the most on your trip?
Ashton Cameron- seeing her come back to the DR and get to pour into the kids for a second time was amazing. She had such a connection with a little girl names Stacey, and though they couldn’t communicate entirely, their bond was so strong. She also led the team with such grace and joy, and truly challenged others to do the same throughout the week.

DR SCORE

Sarah Kate Brown (12th)
What was your favorite part of your mission trip?
There were so many great moments on my mission trip, but my favorite was finishing the playground and getting to see the kids play on it for the first time!
Who impacted you the most on your trip?
Mrs. Lloyd painted a picture of God’s love through her constant positivity!

Kat Saylor (11th)
What was your favorite part of your mission trip?
My favorite part of the mission trip was building a playground and after a long three days, finally being able to see all the children and adults play on that playground was really rewarding, and even brought me to tears a little bit.
Who impacted you the most on your trip?
During the trip, Gracie Mitchell had a profound impact on me! She went into the village of San José with so much positivity even though she didn’t speak Spanish and didn’t know any of the people. She made friends so quickly and picked up some Spanish, but also started to make up some of her own sentences and I was amazed of how confident she was but also how the kids were actually understanding what she was trying to say! Whenever I looked at Gracie, she was always smiling, making the rest of the team laugh, playing with the kids, or learning new Spanish terms. She really lived through the quote of “everyone smiles in the same language” which was truly inspiring to the group.

ATLANTA

Kyle Cleveland (11th)
What was your favorite part of your mission trip?
My favorite part of the mission trip had to be playing with the kids and seeing how full of joy and laughter they were even though they come from situations and circumstances that are so difficult we couldn’t even imagine
being in their shoes.
Who impacted you the most on your trip?
The community in general had a huge impact on me

CHATTANOOGA

Emma Watkins (12th)
What was your favorite part of your mission trip?
-This might be kind of creepy but I had like 6 girls in my little Sunday school room to sleep in at night, and one of my favorite parts of my day was after all my girls were asleep and I’d listen to their cute tiny snoring and then I’d hear the boy’s room across the hallway and they would be yelling and hollering and throwing things and I would just reflect on my precious angels and how lucky I was to have such great girls in my room.
Who impacted you the most on your trip?
My work group partner Jack Norris really had an impact on me! I hadn’t really known him very well before the trip, but we really learned a lot about each other over the course of the week. He inspired me constantly to work to better my faith and to reflect on the power of prayer. I loved leading our kids with him!
Leandro Haddad (12th )
What was your favorite part of your mission trip?
I loved my work group. We had a lot of fun doing some pretty challenging work, but they managed to find a way to make me enjoy whatever we were doing.
Who impacted you the most on your trip?
If I had to choose one, I’d say Maggie Rheudasil had the most profound impact on me. Her consistently joyful and energetic attitude inspired me and the rest of the work team to keep going forward, even when it was below freezing, and the work seemed grueling.

 

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