First Wave of Mission Teams Returns

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Two weeks ago the Missions Department sent out over 50 students and six faculty and staff members around the world.

This was the first wave of students to leave the college on short-term mission trips. All teams returned this week. The countries they worked in include: East Asia, Nicaragua, Guatemala, the Philippines, Tanzania, Nepal, Ukraine and Thailand.

Team East Asia taught English to children and worked at an orphanage. The team was led by recent graduate Chandler Keenan and senior Randi Morris. Other members included sophomores Courtney Brand, Hannah Gardner and Kayla Miller; juniors Justine Saiz and Christina Werle, seniors Tyson Thrall and Kelly Curtis and recent graduate Taylor Oswald. They left May 16 and returned June 5.

The Sterling College Volleyball Team went to Guatemala. They focused on evangelism within villages and community outreach, such as food distribution. The team was led by Coach John Harding and seniors Rachel Ediger and Carly Cramton as assistant team leaders. Other members included seniors Adriana Gonzalez, Brittany Honea and Makenzie McIntyre. They left May 17 and returned May 30.

The first of two Tanzania teams left May 16. They focused on street evangelizing and working with children. Resident Director of McCreery Hall Addie Swihart led the team with junior Nathan Ehresman as assistant team leader. Other members include: sophomore Charissa Chestnut, juniors Kelsi Dodson and Jenny Linville, seniors Rachel Gardner, Micah Mitchell and Sened Tesfay, and recent graduate Brittany Gant. They returned May 30.

Team Ukraine was led by Assistant Professor Joe Skillen. They evangelized in the community and worked with children. Team members included: senior Emily Zerger as assistant team leader, sophomores Zach Beims, Toby Hatfield and Kyle Croak, senior Sean Mestdagh, graduates Chelsy Troyer and Patrick Williams. Team Ukraine left May 16 and returned May 30.

Resident Director of Evans Hall Naiya Hernandez led a team of five to Nepal where they helped plant churches and spoke at services. Team members included: senior Wes Cates as assistant team leader, sophomore Rachel Grafel, junior Kaylee Beutler, and seniors Victoria Miller and Chase Sperber. The team leaves May 16 and returned May 30.

The first of two teams to go to Nicaragua left May 17. They worked in the city of Leon, with youth men’s prison ministry, a women’s sewing ministry, Vacation Bible School, and food distribution programs. The team was led by senior Terrance Volden and junior Kadi Smith as the assistant team leader. Other team members included sophomores Cody Green, Lisa Laney and Shane Rodgers, junior Ashley Hasart, and recent graduate Nathan West. They returned May 30.

Josh and Melissa Wisner led a team to the Philippines. They worked with children and food distribution programs. They also traveled to an island to minister to an unreached people group. Team members included: sophomore Joey Ramirez, seniors Douglas Dunn, Amanda Huffman, Alexa Pelton, Madison Riley and Brittany Westerman. They were gone May 16 to May 30.

Team Thailand served in Phuket and worked with the group S.H.E. (Self Help and Empowerment) to help women who have left the sex industry develop skills to earn jobs, such as jewelry making. The team was led by senior David Guthmiller, and senior Brittany Outerbridge as assistant team leader. Other members included junior Britnie Jenkins and seniors Anna Kolb and Kara Kenyon. The team left May 16 and returned May 30.