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APU students have the opportunity to serve locally and internationally through the Center for Student Action.
Screenshot: Center for Student Action video

Approximately 40 teams are projected to do mission work internationally in more than 30 countries in the upcoming spring and summer breaks, as coordinated by the Center for Student Action. The leaders of these student action teams were announced Oct. 7. Students have until Nov. 8 to apply to be on one of these student action teams. They will will be notified Dec. 2 about their placements.

The large variety of countries students may serve in includes nations from nearly every continent. From France and Greece to Uganda and Burkina Faso, from the Himalayas and Hong Kong, students will be sent to nearly every corner of the world.

Sophomore liberal studies major Vanessa Jensen will be co-leading a trip to South Africa next summer, working with Out of Africa, a mission organization. Her team will be working with children through Vacation Bible School and sports ministry.

“We’re just assisting and helping out the community in any way that they need it.” Jensen said.

Sophomore business major Freddie Reid and sophomore social work major Andrew Counts will also be going to Africa next year as co-leaders in Kenya. They will be working alongside an organization called Empowering Lives International, serving in the children’s home helping out the families with everyday tasks like cooking and cleaning and watching the kids. They will also be doing a VBS in the homes as well as evangelizing in nearby villages.

Counts said it is important not to overplan, especially so far in advance of a trip.

“We can set general ideas of what we’re going to do, but if we set any sort of huge goals, it can limit what God has in store for us,” he said. “We have to keep an open mind and put God first and expect crazy things to happen.”

Despite any uncertainties in planning, the leaders want God to be the focus of these trips. The challenges of potentially getting sick overseas as well as maintaining focus on the purpose of the journey are on Jensen’s mind, but she said they aren’t challenges that her team can’t overcome.

“I’m just really excited to see what God does and how he’ll use us there,” Jensen said.

All teams may face discomfort as they serve and live in a foreign environment. However, both Counts and Reid are positive that although it is a challenge, it is a favorable one that is necessary in all teams.

“We want to be used in whichever way God wants us to be used,” Reid said. “He ultimately has the plan for the trip, and we’re just trying to figure out what it is and go with it.”