This past Christmas break, 11 KMBC students took the Great Commission to heart and traveled the world for Christ. Our Anthem quartet, made up of Robby Lower (Junior), Paul Glover (Sophomore), Yechan Son (Sophomore), and Samuel Deal (Sophomore), went to Mexico with a church group they got connected with over their summer tour. Ashlee Stewart (Junior) and Laura Eash (Freshman) made the pilgrimage to the Holy Land with our Hebrews professor, Mr. Zane Darland, and a local pastor, Rev. Charles Glover. Mr. David Street, our Romans professor, took Velda Miller (Sophomore), E.J. Wright III (Freshman), Seamus Lenihan (Freshman), Shontay Banks (Freshman), and Jacob Elliot (Freshman) to a Central American country to share the Gospel. Along with Mr. Street and these students, 1 alumnus-Ms. Lindsay Street (Class of 2014), 2 KMBC/Mt. Carmel staff members (Ms. Leah Settles and Mrs. Phyllis Light) made the trip as well! In all, these 11 students, 2 professors, 2 staff members, 1 alumnus, and 1 pastor traveled well over 85,000 miles in the name of Christ!
The Anthem Quartet was given the opportunity to spread the Gospel in Tijiuana, Mexico after they met the coordinator of the mission trip at his church. The group had no idea that they would be offered this chance of a lifetime as this church was a regularly scheduled stop on their summer tour. After the service, the director of the mission approached them with this great opportunity, as well as the generous means by which to go. The quartet readily agreed and started planning for the mission trip that would change their lives. They all testified to God’s goodness and love as they met the local people at the church they were working at, as well as the “Breakfast Club” where they made and served breakfast for locals on one day of their journey. Check out their pictures below, as well as their testimonies on God’s miraculous work!
Mr. Zane Darland, professor at KMBC, has gotten to go to Israel 3 times in the last few years! He’s taken classes there, toured the Holy Land, and this time he taught a class! Along with Rev. Charles Glover, Mr. Darland had the opportunity to take his class into God’s Promised Land. Together, the four of them saw the Mediterranean Sea, the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, and the Jordan River! In addition to those, they walked in the footsteps of Christ in Capernaum and around the Galilean area as well as the Old City of Jerusalem. The group was in awe of the great history that the land possessed. Check out the album above to step into their shoes and read their testimonies to know, first-hand, what it was like to be in Israel!
Mr. David Street has teamed up, once again, with Vision Beyond Borders, to take a group of college students into a closed country to bring the Gospel. This year, he was able to travel with 5 students to Cuba. Because of the precarious nature of their mission being in a closed country, pictures of the local residents themselves, as well as the team working with them, would post safety risks to those involved. Below are a few pictures of the team as they served and testimonies from the students about God’s grace and provision in such an impoverished area!
On Wednesday of our trip, some of us got the opportunity to work at the local “Breakfast Club” ministry. The Breakfast Club serves breakfast to kids and their families each morning before school. The little boy in the picture – his name is Samuel. He’s five years old and, as you can tell, adorable. As I would wash the dishes, Samuel would carry them to the sink to be rinsed by someone else. We had made a large pile of pots and pans on the floor beside us.
Our washing station was close to the kitchen door; and someone had propped some items up behind it. At one point during our washing, Samuel took a step back and knocked the items behind the door over. This pushed the door into our tower of pots and pans sending them loudly crashing on the tile floor. After the thunder of metal ceased, Samuel and I both stood there in complete silence. As we stared at each other, the corner of my mouth began to turn into a grin. Before we knew it, we were both laughing hysterically at the mess we had just made.
After dishes, I went outside onto the patio. After a few minutes, Samuel came outside. When he saw me, he ran over to me yelling, “Mi amigo! (My friend!)” As the morning progressed, we played and had a good time. I picked him up, and he placed his hands on the side of my face. He pulled my face to his, nose-to-nose, and just stared into my eyes. Then he would smile and wrap his little arms around my neck.
I wanted to give Samuel something to show him that I cared for him and that he was special to me. I had asked one of my team members to take some pictures of Samuel and I, and another team member had a picture printer. In a few minutes, my team member returned with a picture. I got down on my knee and handed it to Samuel. He stared at it then looked at me with those beautiful brown eyes. He grabbed me and pulled me into the biggest hug a little boy could give.
The next morning, we had the opportunity to go back to the Breakfast Club. As the morning went on, I waited and waited hoping that Samuel and his family would return. Finally, I saw him coming in the distance. When he saw me, his eyes lit up and a huge smile broke over his face. He ran to me and jumped into my arms. I picked him up and just held him close to me.
After he had eaten breakfast, he came back outside with me on the patio. After a while, Samuel’s mother came over to tell him that it was time to go. My heart sank. She asked if I would be back the next day. To the best of my ability, I told her that I would hopefully be back around the same time next year. Then I crouched down in front of Samuel and hugged him. As he clung to me, I kissed his dirty, little cheek and whispered, “Te quiero mucho. (I love you very much.)” After a few more hugs from Samuel and several hugs from his family, they began their walk down the road.
As I stood on the porch watching, Samuel would keep turning around to smile and wave at me. After a minute, Samuel turned around and started running back toward me as fast as he could. He ran to the banister of the porch, and I reached down and lifted him over. When I sat him down, he took my hand and slid what is now one of my most prized possessions over my hand – a small, woven bracelet. At this point, I began to cry; and I hugged him again. We spent quite a time just holding onto each other.
That little boy, although I did not know him long, he became one of my very best friends. A piece of my heart belongs to him, and I will see him again. I know it.
On the first day, we unpacked our luggage then checked out the community that we will serve. When I arrived there, I was surprised because of their poverty. We visited one guys house, and it was little bit bigger than my dorm room, but 10 people lived there. Spider webs were everywhere, there was no shower, and no internet. But one thing I surprised by was that they didn’t complain about this. They even shared their food with their neighbor. After we visited his house, I confessed about my own selfishness. I had complained about everything to God, even though I have a good room, bed, and shower.
We also hung out with the youth in the orphanage. We played volleyball, guitar, games, and sang with them. For work, we had projects for their community. We had three teams for each project: one was fixing one lady’s roof, another was building shelves for their food pantry, and the other was rebuilding their church restroom. My job was building shelves for their food pantry. It was hard work, but I had a really good time working with kids and the other team members.
We had worship service every morning and night. This time was a blessing to me. Our quartet was leading worship, and God was always working through the service. Our last worship night was a real blessing to me. We had a time of praise after Howard’s [the trip director] preaching. We worshiped God like that for over an hour. And end of this time, we started hugging each other. It was really a blessing to me. I could feel His Presence, Holy Spirit, and love.
If I had to choose one word to describe this trip, I would choose ‘relationship.’ We always had good relationships with the kids, youths, and adults during tour time.
The church has a breakfast ministry for community people and we had a chance to serve it. We helped them make the food, set tables, and served those who came in. After that, we were hanging out with the kids in the community, and I met one girl whose name is Wendy and she looks like she’s 3-4 years old. She was in the church with her sisters and mother. I started playing with her and her sisters. I was chasing her, being an amusement park, and being a jungle gym for her. When the time to leave was coming, I hugged her and said good bye to her. Before I left, I turned around, sat, then opened my arms to hug her. She talked with her sister, and she said “you go to him first.” (They spoke Spanish, not English.) Then, one of the girls came out and told her “He’s leaving now, hurry!” (this was in Spanish too, so I don’t know how I understood it.) Right after that, she ran toward me, then I hugged her for a while. I finally said good bye to her and I left the church to go to work. It was really precious.
Over break I got the opportunity to take a mission’s trip to Mexico along with a team of 19 people total. To describe the trip itself or even just a part of it would be impossible, simply because my words would not do it justice; however, during one of the reflective times we had as a group, our leader asked us to describe in three words what the trip was to us so far, the only words that came to my mind were eye-opening, heartbreaking, and life-changing.
Although we did not complete any huge projects like building a house or something like that, the relationships we made will last longer than any house will, and the change that I know God is going to bring to both our and their lives is worth more than anything we could buy them.
Once I returned home I was very confused as to why God would give us just a few days to spend with those people when there is so much I wanted to share and learn about them, so many more relationships I wanted to see grow, but it wasn’t until I finally looked through all the pictures I took that I saw this one and the first thing that came to my mind was a passage from 1 Corinthians where it says that “we look through a glass darkly”, God revealed to me that although I may not see the impact I made while I was there, it doesn’t mean that there wasn’t one. God can use the smallest conversation or act to completely transform and flip someone’s world upside-down.
Although my time there was not as long as I wish it would have been, I know God used our team to work miracles for His kingdom, both in their lives and ours.
My experience in Mexico has shown me many things.
The first thing is the awesome blessing of teamwork and friendship among a group of Christians who just met. I am so blessed to have met and worked with the people I did, as well as seeing their love and interaction with the Mexican people.
Another thing I was shown/reminded of was the bittersweet privilege and blessing of serving with abandon, which would be how I would describe the focus of the trip. Going through the day and giving of myself in order to be a blessing to others helped to show me how important it is to do that, not only on mission trips, but with people in everyday life.
I don’t know how my words and actions will have affected the people in Mexico that I came into contact with, but I can hope and pray that I had a positive impact on their lives and that God will be glorified through it.
The Cuba mission was wonderful and blessed! It was great to partner with the Cuban church in ministering to local churches and spreading the gospel around the country! They are the most joyful Christians that I have ever met, and they have really blessed me and challenged me! I thank God for what He is doing in Cuba! Please pray for the church and country of Cuba!
My time in Cuba was uplifting and inspirational. I was blessed by how much we have in America and how we neglect the true gift of being able to worship God and preach the Gospel. I will be doing another mission trip as soon as I can, if the Lord provides for it. I was thankful to see God working in the lives of the people of Cuba. Please pray for the pastors down there and ask God to provide for them and continue to bless their ministry.
My heart is so full! We went to Magdala today which is the place that Mary Magdalene was from. They had a beautiful worship center. We walked in and there were two ladies singing with a guitar. The woman, Christiana, who gave us a tour told me I could go sing with them so I did. We really bonded over music. The one in the middle is Marciè and she is from Spain. The other is Gídma and she is from Columbia. Neither one spoke English and of course, I don’t speak Spanish, but God spoke through us to each other. My, what love the body of Christ can share! A little piece of my heart is with those women!
I am so blessed. In only one week my life was changed in so many good ways. This beautiful island and the people there have a piece of my heart. The people there are wonderful, and they became dear friends in a short time! Along with that, I got to travel with great people, and we had may good times. I am so thankful how God changes, stretches, and grows hearts.
God provided the funds for me to go to Cuba over Christmas break on my first mission trip.
In Cuba, we prepared suitcases to go to pastors to help their families and their churches. Each day was spent visiting pastors and people of the church. All of this was amazing, but what truly made a difference for me was hearing the stories of the pastors. Hearing their daily struggles and how they got to the point where they are today really touched me. Knowing that they would lay their life on the line for God challenged me. I often questioned myself during that trip saying, “Would I do this? Do I trust God enough to provide my needs? Would I truly risk my life to serve the Lord?”
I quickly learned that the Cuban pastors we visited relied solely on God. They trusted Him wholeheartedly. One pastor had been jailed three times for having church in his home, but he never blamed God and not once did he give up. That challenged my faith. Often times I think I forget to depend on God because I have so many resources at my fingertips.
This mission trip to Cuba taught me that my faith in God has to go beyond my five senses. I’m so thankful for the things the Cubans have taught me and for the lifelong friendships I made during that trip. The Cubans showed me nothing but love and I am forever grateful. I hope to have carried some of that love back with me to the US so that I, too, can serve people and serve the Lord wholeheartedly.