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Mission chapel to highlight experiences

This semester’s mission’s chapel on Monday, Oct. 5, will consist of six speakers and a choir of students from different mission teams sent out last summer by the Office of Missions.

Mark Vowels, head of the Office of Missions, said although he does not have a predetermined message each year, he has found that keeping focus on the testimonies is the best strategy. “We just let the students tell their own stories and experiences with missions,” Vowels said.

The mission teams traveled to a variety of locations around the world, from the western U.S. to China. Senior Christian ministries major, Charity Vergiels, had the opportunity to travel with the mission team sent to Africa. Vergiels, who grew up in Brazil as a missionary kid, joined a team because she wanted to see missions from a different perspective. “I know how it works in Brazil,” Vergiels said, “but how does missions work in a different country?”

Vergiels will be one of the speakers during the service on Oct. 5. Some of the other students speaking include Micah Chetta, who traveled with the musical team to Europe, Olivia Matthews, who went to Antigua, and Charlotte Brown, who went to Australia.

Dr. Dan Olinger, team leader for the Africa mission team, said that an important lesson of missions is learning more about yourself. Students discover that Christian young people in Africa are often more mature in their faith than the students themselves.

Olinger stressed that students need to go on a mission team. “I think a lot fewer students go than could or should,” he said.

But Olinger also stressed that the will of God should be the primary motivator. “The student needs to have a relationship with God, and the spirit of God needs to communicate to that student.”

One of the most common reasons Olinger hears for not going is lack of money.  However, in his experience, raising money is the easiest part of joining a team. “You’d be surprised what you can afford.” he said.

Vowels said the more people hear about God’s glory, the more He is praised. The mission teams chapel service aims to remind viewers of the importance of spreading God’s Word.