Acts Project interns travel abroad this summer
June 08, 2010

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Seventeen students shared a missions class experience this spring in a course entitled Acts Project.  The second half of that class includes a summer-long internship that is taking them to the other side of the globe to serve on three continents.  Before they headed out, they shared these details about what they expect from their journeys:

Carlin Nasiatka: Nairobi, Kenya

Jambo rafiki! This summer I will be going to Kenya, Africa, to serve at Gethsemane International Children’s Home just outside of Nairobi. Gethsemane’s mission is to create a family-like environment for approximately 60 children, caring for their needs and bringing them up to follow the Lord Jesus Christ and impact Kenya for Him! Most of the children that come to live at the home are some of Kenya’s more than 800,000 AIDS orphans. My teammate, Elizabeth Benscoter, and I will be tutoring, helping with ESL language learning, teaching Bible studies on the book of Ephesians, and engaging in life with the children and staff at the home.  I think one of the biggest things I have learned thus far in this endeavor is that if God lays upon your heart to do something, do it right away, and trust that He is going to provide the means and the courage to do all He calls you to, one step at a time. I am so excited to serve in Kenya this summer!

Andrew McPeak, Seth Flores, Kristen Phelps & Savannah Stroud: Chennai, India

We are going to India to work with Word for the World ministries, an organization run entirely by Indian nationals whose mission is to help the oppressed people of the country, including orphans, the elderly, and the disabled. Because of the nature of the ministry and the Indian culture, we will be doing such things as teaching in slum schools, praying over the disabled, and spending time with the elderly. Our foremost preparation for this summer has been first, trusting everything to the Lord in prayer, and second, a concentration on developing godly relationships in whatever circumstances possible. Although this experience is going to be very terrifying and trying at times, we are very excited about the prospect of a summer in India, using the skills and personalities that have been shaped in each one of us!

Bonnie Fowler: Xiamen, China

I will be living in the coastal city of Xiamen, China, working as an intern in the accounting/finance department of a glass manufacturing company. Founded and operated by an American missionary, the company seeks to provide superior products as well as to minister to the needs of their Chinese employees. To give you a glimpse of their mission, “Meixia purposely hires and trains physically challenged and homeless individuals as part of its purpose to recognize and honor the dignity of individuals and strengthen the local community.” I hope to learn what “business as mission” is all about and to understand how God is moving within the Chinese culture.

Jonathan Goff: Turin, Italy

I’ll be based in Turin working with Operation Mobilization, helping them to staff summer outreaches, sports ministries, and doing some graphic design work. I’ll also be assisting in preparations for Transform 2010, a week-long missions conference focused on the Mediterranean region, which OM Italy will be hosting in Rome. During and directly following the conference, much of my focus will shift to photography, documenting the time of ministry for OM. I am so excited to serve an incredible group of people with gifts that God has been so gracious to give.


Johanna Wilkening: Middle East

I am not a traditional Acts Project member in that I am not going on my internship this summer. Instead, I am doing a six-month internship in the spring of 2011 after I graduate from Bryan. I will be working in the Middle East, either giving music lessons to children or teaching English. Since I still have eight months left before I go, I am planning to research more about Muslim culture and beliefs as well as digging deeper into the Scriptures.

Elizabeth Benscoter: Nairobi, Kenya

This summer I will be journeying with Carlin to Nairobi, Kenya, to do a two-month internship with Gethsemane International Children’s Home. GICH’s goal is to “grow Christ-like young men and women by creating a home filled with the love of Jesus Christ for abandoned, orphaned street children in Kenya.” We will be living everyday family life with the children and staff, which will give us many opportunities to develop relationships with our brothers and sisters in Kenya. While at Gethsemane we will be leading nightly Bible studies on the book of Ephesians with the children. I am looking forward to serving God in a new way this summer!


Sarah Becker: Paris, France

France is a place that has always intrigued and pulled me, and to see how God has directly called me there this summer is so amazing and encouraging. I’ll have two main roles for the nearly three months I’m there: photographing and ministering to the Muslim communities in Paris. I’ll also be helping out in the office with other short-term teams, preparing for Transform 2010 and anything else they need me to do. I will also spend two weeks in England at Operation Mobilization’s communications headquarters and in Rome for Transform 2010, a week-long missions conference focused on the Mediterranean area. I will then travel back to the south of France to photograph the action of a short-term missions trip.


Diana Rice: Roscommon, Ireland

Because I am a business major, I will be working behind the scenes in the financing department at the main base of Operation Mobilization (OM) in Roscommon, Ireland. My duties will include such tasks as answering phones, balancing the books, and making hospitality arrangements for others coming to Ireland. OM Ireland is the newest addition to OM Europe, and God has been doing amazing things through the team that is already there. I also plan to work with the teen and children’s ministries.


Andrew Davis & Anna Rustebakke: Zambia

We will be traveling with Operation Mobilization to Zambia to work with the World Cup outreach OM has planned there for the summer. We will have the opportunity to attend soccer clinics and to be involved in local projects at churches, hospitals, orphanages, and homes for the disabled. Basically, we are going to provide two extra sets of hands to help the OM team as they participate in the work that God is already doing there. We will also have the opportunity to take boat trips to many remote villages along the shores of Lake Tanganyika, providing us with opportunities to serve those working with church planting, in clinics, and improving the educational system.

Megan “Meggelles” Devaney: Zambia

I came to Bryan with a heart for African missions and will be graduating this year with a pre-med biology major with minors in Bible and missions. My passion for missions has grown while at Bryan and culminated with my being accepted to Operation Mobilization International as a short-term missionary. I will depart for Zambia in August or September and will be living in Lusaka for 6-9 months doing different ministries. I hope to work with the AIDS victims outreach program; teach health, education and HIV awareness classes; and possibly intern at a hospital.


Lydia Steele: Coruna, Spain

I’m going to be in Coruna, Spain, working with a new church plant with Operation Mobilization. I will be involved with various community outreach projects and any other projects that take place to help the mission build relationships with the Spanish community.


Nick Pacurari: San Lorenzo, Italy

I will be spending my summer in Italy, working with Sam Spatola and Saints Equipped to Evangelize. I will be building relationships in many different ways for the sake of the Gospel by helping the Saints team with different evangelistic outreaches throughout Italy.


Kaity Kopeski: Middle East

Signing up for the Acts Project was a spontaneous decision. I missed the deadline, but I just couldn’t get the project out of my head. So I talked to Dr. Benson, filled out the application, and the next day was trying to figure out where in the world I was going to be this summer. I didn’t have any preferences; I just knew that I wanted to serve people. “How about the Middle East?” was the question posed. Honestly, I had never considered the Middle East as a mission field, but in the last couple months my whole perspective has been turned around. While there, I will be working under a journalist and have the opportunity to work with Muslim women. I’m excited about having the opportunity to immerse myself in a completely different culture, show the love of Christ, and make the Middle East my summer home.


SOURCE:  Adapted from a story published in The Bryan College Triangle 4.28.10. Photos courtesy of Carlin Nasiatka. Kristen Phelps, Bonnie Fowler, Jonathan Goff, Johanna Wilkening, Elizabeth Benscoter, Sarah Becker, Diana Rice, Andrew McPeak, Meggelles Devaney, Maddie Doucet, and Nick Pacurari.