Our students have opportunities to receive practical ministry training by taking advantage of the many mission trip opportunities throughout their time here as students. This summer I was able to take some students to Malawi Africa to do some evangelism and church planting. Student body president Taylor Haley reflects on his trip.
"When I was approached with the opportunity to travel to Malawi, Africa with Harvest International Missions to do nothing but tell people about Jesus for a week, I jumped on it," said Haley. "The Lord had been impressing upon my heart to go on another international mission trip months prior to Malawi coming to my attention. My last (and only) trip had been in 2015 to the Philippines. By the grace of God, I was able to raise the funds needed in a very short amount of time.
"I headed out with a team of eight other people, some friends and some strangers. During the journey I began experiencing some doubts. For starters, I am terrified of heights and drowning, so my anxiety was plaguing me. But I also began to doubt how effective our impact would be. Questions such as, 'Would we just share the gospel and then leave?' 'When would discipleship take place?' 'Are we doing more harm than good?'
"Upon our arrival we met with Joe Veal who runs a ministry in Malawi called 'U-Turn Ministries,'" recalled Haley. "They are actively engaged in telling people about Jesus, discipling new believers in church plants, have full time staff members, running three orphanages, and training Malawian pastors. It was this partnership that solidified in my heart that what we were doing was going to work.
"Each day we shared the gospel with everybody we came into contact with," said Haley. "We had a great team of translators who were sold out for the cause of Christ. One of the most amazing things about those we came into contact with was how receptive the people were to the gospel. It is with great joy that I can report that nearly 7,000 people made professions of faith in Christ and five churches were planted! Now, as I write this, I know that U-Turn Ministries is hard at work discipling new believers, training pastors, and doing all of the necessary follow up.
"Now, what is the greatest lesson I learned on this trip? If the gospel was good enough in Malawi, then it is good enough for the United States. It is simply this: the gospel works."