Every year, California Baptist University sends students out on service trips through the Office of Mobilization, but this summer two students headed out through a separate organization and spent the summer serving in East Asia.
Adam Walcker, who graduated in May, and Kyle Miller, senior, spent seven weeks in central East Asia on a small team that worked with college students.
“I chose to go with this organization because I had a friend who went last year and they had a great time. They said it was a challenging and life changing experience,” Walcker said.
By slowly building relationships with college students, Walker and Miller were able to share the gospel with their new friends.
“Some of the challenges were not understanding the ‘nationals’ or their culture. It was difficult to know how to share Jesus with them in a way they would understand it clearly,” Walcker said.
The team connected by spending time with their new friends and used questions to help them understand one another.
“As time went on we would ask them what they thought their purpose in life was,” Miller said.
Among the questions they used to connect with the students were, “what is this life about here”?
“We would ask them culturally, ‘what do you all believe?’ and then we would get down to specifics of ‘what do you believe?’ ‘what do you think truth is?” Miller said.
The responses to these questions gave Miller and Walcker an opportunity to understand the culture as well as the individual students’ worldview.
“Some of them would give answers like ‘in our culture we are not really concerned with why we’re here but more how to live life’. It was interesting because they didn’t really think about those critical questions of what our purpose is,” Miller said. “Adam and I would challenge them by asking ‘what if there was a greater purpose in this life?’ and then we would go into sharing the gospel.”
Walcker and Miller’s team of four worked with another, larger team that served for a shorter time period as well as several experienced fieldworkers.
With only one day of rest during the week, Walcker and Miller spent the other six days meeting people and sharing the gospel. In addition to this, Walcker and Miller’s team formed multiple friendships.
The fieldworkers would host a party to engage the students with the intention of providing a fun and different environment for the students to learn more about one another. It also provided an opportunity to invite them to return for more.
“From there we would have specific nights where we would watch the Hope video, which is a gospel video that basically lays out the creation to Christ,” Miller said.
One of the teams’ friends accepted Christ after watching the video and listening to them talk. The team also followed up with a student who accepted Christ after having been involved with the other team.
“I hope to go back. Maybe not to the same place, but overseas. I want to be apart of what God is doing overseas, even if I do not live there for an extended period of time,” Walcker said.
Both Walcker and Miller are looking at returning in the future.
“Overall it has given me a desire to go back,” Miller said. “I would love to go back for a year with some of my close friends and just do college