On December 15, 2008, while fellow classmates are setting out for family Christmas celebrations, nine Sterling College students will travel to the Middle East, not only missing Christmas Day with families but also their entire inter-term break. The team will return on January 6, 2009, after spending three weeks on a medical missions trip.
Team member Adam Beutler expresses the mix of emotions that many of the team members are feeling about this trip. “I’m sad because Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I get to spend time at my grandparents’ house with all my family. It means a lot to me to be with them. But,” Beutler continues, “I can’t think of a better reason to miss out on that time.”
Karin Lederle, team leader, experienced these feelings for the first time last year, when she spent Christmas break on a missions trip to South Africa. She says, “I didn’t really miss America, but I missed family and Christmas atmosphere and decorations, just simple things like that.” Still, she came back from South Africa believing that the focus of these trips—to bring hope and help to destitute and needy people—makes any sacrifice worthwhile.
The major mission of this team to the Middle East is to provide medical help. Upon their arrival, team members will train for two days, no