July 13, 2024

California Baptist University’s International Service Project (ISP) and United States Project (USP) participants spent their spring breaks and summer vacations serving overseas and at home. From travel difficulties to baptisms, they faced hardships and joys as well as endured in order to serve.

East Asia Cultural Exchange – Cara Marsile and Ryan Falsetti

Student leader Ryan Falsetti, senior and Applied Theology
 major, credits prayer and obedience to his team’s remarkable boldness to share the Gospel.

“Through prayer and the proclamation of the Gospel matched with lives that reflect a love for God and others, 12 people came to know Christ and some were baptized,” Falsetti said.

The team of 10 served in East Asia by connecting with students through classes, outings and by serving as language partners.

“We got to be a part of discipleship, baptism and equipping the local church and through this the purpose of life is found,” said Falsetti. “It was my greatest honor to serve my King and partner with Him in what He is doing among the nations. What we saw happen over there, none can take credit for as we understand just how impossible this task was and continues to be. I got to see the Great Commission passage come to life and it is beautiful.” 

East Africa ESL (English as a Second Language) team – Amy and Chris Hofschroer

With a mission to work with English students, this team joined forces with fieldworkers based out of Sandals Church. This was CBU’s third time partnering with the fieldworkers.

Two weeks into being on the field, sophomore and christian studies major, Rebecca May Derbyshire, dislocated two ribs. She was flown to Kenya for medical attention.

“I was with my team leader in a foreign place with no connection whatsoever and within the first few hours we’d arrived, people from all over came to help us,” Derbyshire said.

Derbyshire spent five days in the hospital with a misdiagnosed muscle tear in her back before returning home behind her teammates.

“God is great and it truly was amazing to see his body at work. 
I’m so thankful that I am continuing to heal but I am most thankful that I truly do serve an awesome God,” Derbyshire said.

USP Alaska – Kushi Jones and Adam Cook 

For the USP Alaska team, the difficulties began before they could leave CBU. After the ceremonial prayer at the Kugel, the shuttles expected to take the team to the airport did not arrive. Missing their flight due to their late departure and traffic, team leaders Kushi Jones, director of career services, and Adam Cook, spent six and a half hours attempting to get the group of 18 to Nome.

“Needless to say, the vexation ebbed and flowed during this six and a half hour trial but this is when God’s power and faithfulness was so evident,” Jones said.

The trial unified the team, who served amongst “high alcoholism and suicide rates, coupled with sexual and physical abuse,” Jones said.

“God is working powerfully in Alaska, healing wounded hearts and giving hope,” Jones said. “Many of us had amazing opportunities to share His love and message. LAX was worth it”.

SOS East Asia – Corrie Turley, Shellyn Beltran, Wiley Snedeker and Nicole Jessen

“Doing a short term service project can be compared to being in a race,” Wiley Snedeker, junior and office of mobilization intern said.

“A three week team is like a sprint and a 8 week team is like a half marathon. We must be constantly conscious not to burn ourselves out or become too tired to build relationship with the local people” said Snedeker.

The team taught English at a college and built intentional relationships with the locals. They also did a special project for their fieldworkers creating a virtual tour of the city to give people in the States a better understanding of the area in which they serve.

“I kind of wanted to ‘test the waters’ and see if I could survive living overseas after college. SOS showed me the complete picture of what this looks like practically and realistically,” Corrie Turley, senior and psychology major said. “I was able to see the complete process of the work in which I have never been able to see in only three weeks before.”

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