2017 was an arduous year for the United States. Deemed the deadliest year for mass shootings in U.S. history, the country finished the year with around 307 mass shootings. Police killed 1,147 people, and there was a substantial number of bombings in public places. England and France also made notable headlines in the U.S. However, 11.5 percent of Syria’s population has been killed or injured since 2011, proving that is it much rarer to see news like that make headlines in first-world countries.
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. Keep Reading
Just weeks after the 2016-2017 school year ended, the South Africa Mission team, led by Elizabeth Ables, Whitney Panetta, Greg Lisson, Andrea Shupert and Emily Zavitz, embarked on their 15-hour-journey across the Atlantic Ocean to Johannesburg, South Africa. Upon arrival, they were greeted by the welcoming staff of Godfirst City Church, their host for the week. After a long bus ride to Hoopoe Haven, a local bed and breakfast where the team stayed throughout the week, they unpacked and settled in. Jet-lagged yet excited, the team was ready to serve.
From day one, the team was put to work making maternity packs with the Grace Project, writing encouraging notes and packaging supplies for mothers who might not have anything. The following day, the team visited the township, Zandspruit, and partnered with Impact Africa, participating in door-to-door evangelism throughout the town. In South Africa, townships are informal settlements consisting mostly of shacks without running water, plumbing or any of the basic American amenities we take for granted. For many students, this experience was the most powerful of the entire trip.
Mission trips are some of the most unique experiences offered at Wesleyan. Each trip is different. All of them take place over spring break with the exception of a biannual summer trip. They are available to seniors, juniors and sophomores, with trip options varying each year.
Here is the complete list of mission trips offered for 2017.
Life stories, fellowship, and unlimited frozen lasagna are just three amazing aspects of the Wesleyan mission trip retreats. Every year, the Wesleyan mission trip teams take the weekend to go to someone on the team’s mountain or lake house in order for everyone to get to know their team better. This is a very important weekend for teams because it gives everyone a chance to share their faith journey and be themselves without the distraction of school or sports.
This year, the Bulgaria team is going to junior Abbie Lochmandy’s lake house; the Panama girl’s team is going to junior Whitney Archer’s mountain house; the Atlanta team is going to senior Kendall Dearth’s lake house, the Chattanooga team is going to senior Josh Garrard’s lake house; the Guatemala coed trip is going to junior, Emma Preston’s lake house; the Guatemala boys team is going to sophomore Daniel Baisier’s mountain house; the Dominican Republic girls team is going to junior Emily Greer’s lake house; the Dominican Republic boys team is going to junior Jason McCleskey’s lake house, and the Nicaragua team is going to junior Katie Stipe’s lake house.
This year, all of the mission trip retreats were a huge success, and everyone was able to grow closer as a team and get extremely excited for their trips. Junior, Eric Panther, who is going on the Guatemala Co-ed trip said, “It was amazing to see the different personalities mesh into one group who was willing to be vulnerable with each other and share their stories to grow closer as a team.”