Students find mission trips outside of international service projects

[Photo courtesy of Alexandra Applegate]

If students of California Baptist University missed the application deadline for International Service Projects or felt it was not their calling, there are other options to still serve on mission trips.

Within CBU, the Office of Mobilization will offer Urban Service Projects next semester. While these are not overseas opportunities, USP is a way to serve God’s purpose and the people in surrounding cities.

USP is a weekend-long urban excursion to serve in a range of shelters and soup kitchens. The trips to Los Angeles and San Diego are in February and March, and the applications for USP are due in January.

However, one does not have to strictly serve through CBU only in order to be involved in ministry.

“I’d encourage students to get involved with their own churches for ministry opportunities, especially over the summer,” said Kris Smith, assistant director of Mobilization.

Students’ home churches could possibly offer in-country or abroad opportunities that might be appealing. Students can also find other ministry opportunities through mission organizations all over the country.

Just one mission organization is Adventures in Missions, based out of Georgia, that annually sends out hundreds of mission teams. These trips range from one week to 11 months long in an array of countries. Teams can serve in South America, Central America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

Anthony Ursua, junior biology and instrumental performance double major, chose another route to Romania through an organization called Children to Love out of Bakersfield, California.

Ursua has been to Romania three separate times and has mainly worked with Romanian natives in orphanages and disabled centers, and with poor families to prevent abandonment.

“I keep going back for the relationships I have created,” Ursua said. “I go back to invest in those who have no hope. I love learning from the children’s lives and seeing God work through them. I love seeing people’s lives changed and I hope others will be changed for the better in the future.”

No matter how one might do ministry, people have opportunities to serve wherever they are located, in Riverside or across the world, through USP or individual ministry opportunities.

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