Missions Teams Prepare to Impact the World

Students Depart the U.S. in January to Serve God

Dec. 11, 2009 By Jenna Bartlo

They sit outside the cafeteria selling shirts to raise money. They walk through Metzger Hall offering coffee in exchange for a donation and organize benefit concerts as fund-raisers. The shirts are donned by Biola students and employees enjoy a cup of Joe for helping the greater cause. During interterm, five short-term missions teams are spending January serving God overseas. Although, missions teams can have a wide variety of destinations and goals, each of these groups are striving to spread the Gospel in their own unique way.

Biola University’s student newspaper, The Chimes, reported on the five missions teams being sent out in January in the article, Missions Teams Prepare to Impact the World. Pray for the following short-term missions teams.

Nairobi, Kenya
Dates: January 4 - 23
Team Size: 10
Team Leaders: Micah Sheean and Danielle Long
Team Members: Katelyn Larson, Emily Pierce, Shirlee McCoy, Leah Schwartz, Steven Haddadian, Joshua Watson, Jon Goossen and Stephen Mbogo
Ministries: The Kenya team will be working with By Grace Children’s Home, which was started by team member Stephen Mbogo. They will be building a basketball court and spending time with the children at the orphanage, playing games and doing crafts with them.
Prayer Requests: The biggest prayer is for trip finances; they are working hard to meet their goal but are low on funding. Pray also for the health of the team while in the country, both physically and spiritually and for their safety. Pray also for openness in the hearts of the people they will come in contact with.

Kampala, Uganda
Dates: January 10 - 24
Team Size: 8
Team Leaders: Tyler Poe, Brianna Machowsky
Team Members: Alyssa Rece, Lydia Gardner, Kayla Vandekamp, Kristin Jewell, Kris Tuasen and Kellyn Arii
Ministries: The team will be working with an orphanage and a primary school. They will focus on spreading love to street orphans, assist doctors in medical clinics and may have the opportunity to visit an AIDS clinic and minister to the patients.
Prayer Requests: Pray for team flexibility and that they will stay open to what God has planed for them in light of their specific plans. Pray also for team unity and safety.

Brussels, Belgium
Dates: January 3 - 23
Team Size: 8
Team Leaders: Ryan McBirney and Kevin O’Farrell
Team Members: Jared Cox, Greg Cox, Sam Santos, Jason Leith, Rob Frampton and Greg Sanders
Ministries: The team is working with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and will focus primarily on street evangelism, including joining YWAM’s weekly gathering at a train station and playing music to draw a crowd. They will also operate a café run by the organization to help share the gospel with backpackers. The team also plans on working with the homeless and ministering to the elderly in convalescent homes.  There is a chance they might do a sports ministry as well, but details are still being worked out.
Prayer Requests: Pray for team unity, that the Holy Spirit would draw the men together and teach them to lean on each other and learn to use their gifts. Also pray for guidance as far as their ministries are concerned, that they will know where the Lord wants them to be and what he wants them to do. Pray for unity between their team and YWAM, that they will have understanding for working with Christians in another culture.

Cairo and Minya, Egypt
Dates: January 6 - 25
Team Size: 7
Team Leaders: Scott Porter and Brad Stutzman
Team Members: Nathaniel Sutanto, Daniel Cedeno, Kyle Farris, Kevin Burch and Tim McKinney
Ministry: The team will be working in a Sudanese refugee camp and ministering in the “garbage villages,” the impoverished outskirts of Cairo. They will also be teaching at a youth conference and assisting a local church with a sports ministry in Cairo. They will be working with mentally disabled men, women and children in Minya.
Prayer Requests: Pray for team unity, that they will bond and sharpen each other. Pray against spiritual warfare and that they will look to God in the midst of whatever they encounter. Pray for the people in Egypt, that God will soften their hearts and put the right people in their paths and give them wisdom and discernment. Pray also for finances as they still need about $4,000.

Perm, Russia
Dates: January 4 – 23
Team Size: 11
Team Leaders: Ashley Davenport and Miriam Herrmann
Team Members:  Natasha Lubansky, Keelyn Dennis, Sue Chew, Carissa Ten Berge, Kelsey Lawless, Paige Stoecklein, Tavea Hampton, Hope Schoen and Tracy Adams
Ministry: This team of eleven women will focus their time on working with children. They will be visiting orphanages and schools and running a vacation bible school and Christmas programs for the children in Russia.
Prayer Requests: The ladies of Team Russia would appreciate prayer for safety, both traveling to and from Russia and for their time spent in the country. Pray that the hearts of the children and adults they come in contact with will be open to the gospel. Pray for the visas the team members need and for the funding for the trip.

Biola University’s Student Missionary Union is the largest student-led missions organization in America. SMU sends out more than 10 teams each year.

Written by Samantha Aviles, reporter for The Chimes. Jenna Bartlo contributed to this report. For more information, Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Coordinator, can be reached at (562) 777-4061 or through email at jenna.l.bartlo@biola.edu.

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