Summer break is almost here. For many students, this means swapping classes for summer jobs, internships and ministry opportunities. This week The Collegian is taking a look at what some students will be doing with their time this summer.
As soon as the semester ends, sophomore special education major Min Lee will start on a journey that will eventually lead her to a summer of service in the African country of Tanzania.
Following commencement, Lee and some of her friends are heading to Disney World in Florida, followed by a road trip to Wisconsin. Lee’s stay in Wisconsin, however, will be for just one night and then she will begin her trek to Africa.
Once Lee arrives in Tanzania, she will begin work with a missionary family. “I was praying for a mission trip for the summer before I went back to Korea,” Lee said. Her prayers were answered when a pastor friend of her father recommended she serve with a missionary in Tanzania. While serving on her month-long mission trip, Lee said she will be teaching both English and Korean grammar.
Internships are a key component of the Christian missions major. Junior Christian missions major Steph Schneider has chosen to travel to Brazil in June to fulfill her internship requirement.
“I’m going to be working with kids,” Schneider said. She will serve alongside a missionary family and help them in various areas including vacation Bible school and a camp for children.
Brazil is the place Schneider believes God is calling her to serve, and she is using this trip as a way to gain experience in the country.
Junior political science major Kyle Gawne will work at a hot air balloon company for the second summer in a row.
Gawne will work for Hot Air Expeditions in Phoenix, Ariz. His day will begin at the shop by 5:30 a.m. to help get the equipment ready and loaded up before the team heads to a place in the desert to set up for the day’s hot air balloon take off. Gawne and his co-workers steady the balloon for takeoff and also when it is landing. Because of the Arizona heat, balloon rides end by 9:00 in the morning.
One of the obstacles Gawne and his co-workers face is making sure the balloon landing area is safe. “It’s always exciting dodging cacti in the dessert when you’re landing a balloon,” he said.
For the past three summers junior business and technology major Peter Ralph has worked at the Creation Museum in Kentucky in its custodial department. He will return for another summer of service at the Christian organization this year. “Basically, you make the place look good,” he said.
Ralph said working at the Creation Museum is a constant encouragement because of the Christian environment. He said there are always people there with whom to share prayer requests. The employees also have a Bible study together one night a week during the summer.
Sophomore nursing major Jennifer Berry is taking the skills she has learned in class to the people of Peru during an eight-day medical mission trip this June.
Berry said the trip is sponsored by Medical Missions Outreach, which operates medical clinics in countries around the world. “They’re giving all the care for free,” she said. The tasks of the team will include assisting with clinic tasks such as ear irrigation and taking blood pressures.
Berry is looking forward to the trip since it will be her first time out of the U.S. as well as her first time being on a mission team. “I think it will be very fascinating to see a different culture,” she said. “And to be a bold witness for Christ.”
She will be working with missionary David Gardner in Arequipa, and she will also be involved in teaching Bible lessons to children.
During the 2012 Bible Conference, the university family was introduced to Ian Paisley, Jr., a member of the British Parliament from Northern Ireland.
One student will get to know Paisley personally. Senior political science major Michael Lowder will intern with the parliamentarian this summer.
Among Lowder’s responsibilities will be collecting information on issues, writing speeches, attending governmental meetings and joining Paisley in meeting with the people he represents in Northern Ireland.
“It will be exactly what I want to do for a career,” he said.
Lowder has focused his education at BJU on international studies, and last summer he interned with the State Department in Germany.
He will start this six-week internship shortly after commencement.