International students spend summer break traveling, ministering abroad

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International students spend summer break traveling, ministering abroad

Ruth Anne Natividad Photo: Molly Waits

Summer is almost here, and students are making plans for their nearly four-month break, but some students who don’t call the U.S. home don’t have common summer break plans.

Ruth Anne Natividad, a junior middle school education major from the island of Guam, a U.S. territory, will spend the summer at home, after a 24-hour flight from Greenville. She will teach middle school (fifth through seventh grade) English classes while a co-teacher will teach math classes in a summer school program called “Cool School” that’s provided by Harvest Christian Academy.

Natividad said teaching summer school will be a way to practice what she has been learning in college. While she is teaching at summer school, she will also take nine credits of online classes.

Erik Howell, a graduate assistant who works in the Educator’s Marketplace, is from Honduras but will not travel home for the summer. Instead, he’ll be going to Brazil with a group from Morningside Baptist Church in Greenville from June 6 through 20. The mission team will pass out tracts and water to the thousands of people visiting Brazil for the World Cup tournament. “It will be a good opportunity to give the gospel to people from all over the world in one place,” Howell said.

His first stop will be the city of Sao Paulo, where the opening ceremony for the World Cup will take place. Besides ministering to people attending the international tournament, Howell said he and his group will travel to local churches, singing, preaching and working in the kids clubs.

Katie Calica, a freshman studio art major from Toronto, Canada, will go home to participate in a youth camp started by several Presbyterian churches, including Calica’s home church, Toronto Free Presbyterian Church.

Calica will also go on a mission trip to Vancouver, British Columbia. “We will be handing out lots of pamphlets, helping at the church and vacation Bible school, and we will be going door to door,” Calica said.

Kristian Romer, a junior Bible major from Finland, will fulfill the internship requirement for his major at a church in California where he will be involved in various church ministries. Romer will go home after his internship, where he will relax before going to Germany to be a counselor at Camp Impact.

After serving at Camp Impact, Romer will return home to Finland to finish the summer.

Ruth Kim, a sophomore studio art major from South Korea and missionary kid to Laos, will return to Korea for a month with her mom, where the two will visit supporting churches and give reports on the progress of their work in Laos. 

After visiting supporting churches, Kim will travel back home to Laos to spend time with her family and act as an interpreter for a college group that is coming to Laos to help build schools and teach children.

“The college group is usually not a Christian group, but I can show them I care,” Kim said. “They know my parents are Christians, and they know I am a Christian, too.”

Kim will also make another trip in Asia during the summer. Kim came across the opportunity to apply for a Chinese university scholarship in her Chinese classes. Although Kim is still unsure which university she will decide to attend, she and her mother plan to visit China to look at the universities.

“There is a big possibility I will be accepted into a university,” Kim said

Wherever they may go, these students are looking to serve the Lord and others — whether at home or far away.