On Friday, June 8, the Chapel hosted a Global Missions Evening to focus on recent mission trips to Ukraine and Nicaragua. It was an inspiring evening of fellowship as team members shared their experiences serving alongside our Chapel partners. Team member Isabel Overy said, “Although we were doing God’s work, God was also at work in us.”
Missions Pastor Wes White opened the evening with a reminder of God’s purpose for Missions: “Revelation 7:9 says that ‘a great multitude from every nation, all tribes and peoples
On a Mission: Sharing God’s Love in Nicaragua
In March, nine women from the chapel traveled to Nicaragua to support the work of
For Lara Overy and her daughter Isabel, the trip represents a shared mission as a family. Isabel first visited Nicaragua as a junior in college. After that first trip, her whole idea of missions changed. “It was wonderful to see my friends and classmates serve the children in the feeding center with a loving heart,” she said. “After that trip, I felt that missions
Lara added, “Isabel came home and was so passionate about the experience. My husband and I started thinking about how our money and time could be better spent. So, we considered fundraising for a feeding center in Nicaragua. We approached the Chapel and learned that the Chapel had just made a commitment to support two feeding centers. The timing was really amazing! One thing led to another and we all did a trip in June. That really solidified our focus as a family to serve the people of Nicaragua”
Trip co-leader Rodelle Williams also loves the idea of serving together across generations. “We wanted to encourage these college girls who have strong faith. We don’t know where God is going to lead them, but we can faithfully serve alongside them and support their growth.”
For Janet Parker, this trip to Nicaragua was her first experience with missions. “I attended the Global Missions conference and I thought I wanted to go to Spain. But that night, God called me to go to Nicaragua. I grew in my faith and in being able to share the Gospel. You’re never too old and it’s never too late! It’s a wonderful experience and I hope to go again.”
Although the Chapel had another trip to Nicaragua planned for July, it has been canceled due to political unrest in the region. Please pray for the pastors and people in the cities that God will continue to meet their needs through this time of volatility.
On a Mission: Reaching Out to Orphans in Ukraine
In May, six people from the Chapel traveled to Ukraine to serve with Heart for Orphans in Zaporizhzhia and Kirovograd.
Ukraine has thousands of orphanages, each housing between 200-300 children. The mission of Heart for Orphans is to reach and disciple these children so they can learn life skills, experience the love of family, and know the love of Christ. During the Ukraine trip, the missions team visited two Heart for Orphans Transition Homes and also spent time in a shelter.
Heart for Orphans President, Nancy Hathaway, explained that a shelter is where a child goes if he or she is found on the street. “They stay in the shelter for the first 60-90 days until a decision is made for them. The kids are very raw there. It just breaks your heart. But, we have teams that go in every week and do a program that’s very much like Sunday school or YoungLife. We share the message that although they’ve been rejected, they are not rejected by God.”
“At the shelter, my heart was pierced,” said Mark Simon. “These kids are going through trauma. The oldest was 5-6 years old. I connected with one little girl. We met eyes and she ran up to me and gave me a big hug. But when it came time to do arts and crafts, she didn’t participate. I went over to her to try to understand why, and I started to draw for her. Then she started to draw too. And whenever she drew a little ball, I’d say ‘Oh that’s great!’ These kids need attention and companionship. And they don’t have that right now. That moment was worth the trip.”
Anna Beth Eskridge agrees. “What impacted me most was to be able to love on the kids. From an early age, they are told they aren’t of value. But we can reinforce that God loves them and show this through our actions.”
For Sue Tobik, the Ukraine trip was a wonderful opportunity to be hands-on. “I’ve always had a heart for missions and supported some. But, I’ve never had the opportunity to go before. For me, this trip was like opening a Birthday gift. I’m in and I want to keep going back and doing what I can to help promote this mission.”
Nancy Hathaway confirmed that spiritual growth is part of the benefit of going on a trip. “A lot of times when we think about going somewhere, we think we’ll go and help people in need. But what happens more often is that God changes our hearts because we meet believers in a different culture. We come back and look at our lives in a whole new way.”
Stay tuned for an update from our short-term Chapel Missionary, Leah Walter, who spent nine months in Grenada, Spain. To learn more about upcoming missions trips and how you can go, serve, and pray, click the button below.