Rosemary Chesney, Campus Carrier arts and living editor
Over spring break, 13 students between two different campus organizations traveled overseas for mission trips. The Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) group brought nine students to Berlin, Germany, while Campus Outreach took four students to Costa Rica. Although both organizations went to different parts of the globe, students from both groups report that their experiences were lifechanging.
Before this past trip to Germany, BCM had not brought students on a mission trip since 2018, due to leadership changes and smaller organization sizes. This year, BCM leaders Christi and David Slocum led nine students to Berlin for a week to serve in campus ministries in Europe. Junior Caleb Land was one of the students who participated in this mission trip.
“I think I just gained more confidence during the trip in being able to talk to different people,” Land said. “I’m more reserved, but I learned how to push my own boundaries and push past my comfort zone.”
The BCM group partnered with a missionary married couple from the International Mission Board (IMB). They spent their week approaching and meeting various students on campus at two different universities and sharing the Christian gospel with them. At the end of the week, they held an event for German students to learn more about Christianity and get their questions answered. Senior Abigail Mohler also attended this mission trip.
“The hardest part was talking to people when they did not want to be receptive,” Mohler said. “We overcame this just by pushing through and having conversations with lots of different people. There were definitely some days that we felt defeated, but in the end it turned out really good.”
Land said that one of the reasons they chose to go to Berlin is because Germany is a majority atheist country. Before ending up with Germany, the group considered going to the Netherlands or Puerto Rico. One of Mohler’s favorite benefits from the trip was growing closer to her peers.
“I can’t really call these people friends anymore, they’re more like brothers and sisters to me,” Mohler said. “I was having a rough semester so having these people come around me and embrace me was really nice. Not knowing anything in Germany, we really had to rely on each other.”
While BCM went to Germany, Campus Outreach took four students and three staff members to Costa Rica for six days. These students partnered with a local church called La Familia Christiana and spent their week serving the local community. They met families in the local area and encourged them, prayed over them, gave out food bags and shared the Gospel with them. One student who attended this trip was junior Kuannas Walker.
“It felt like the perfect place for us to be for that week,” Walker said. “I definitely gained a lot and understood that I can be used as a leader even when I don’t expect to be.”
One challenge for the group was finding a translator when their the Spanish translator was not able to come. Walker said that he ended up being the primary translator for the group. Another challenge for this mission group was handling cultural differences between the United States and Costa Rica. Walker said that a major cultural difference is that Americans tend to be very set on schedules but the Costa Rican culture is slower paced and looser with times.
“In the USA we’re so set on plans but over there they just go with the flow,” Walker said. “It was rough at first, but we just got used to it and let go control. Slowing down was the hardest thing but it was a beautiful thing and by the end I didn’t want things to speed back up.”