Ten years have passed since Director of Global Mobilization Kristen White first joined California Baptist University’s mobilization team in the Office of Spiritual Life.
She has traveled to 44 countries and six continents, has a heart for the nations and encourages others to step out in faith and help those in need around the globe.
International Service Project, United States Project, Summer of Service alumni and current participants worked together Friday to honor White’s contributions to the mobilization team and to the university at Night of Nations.
The Japan team kicked off the show by singing their own rendition of the 1971 Coca-Cola theme song, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony),” changing the lyrics in the chorus to honor White’s signature slogan, “Go, Fight, Win.”
This year, teams will be sent around the globe to reach the continents of Asia, Europe and North America.
Prior to her service as director of global mobilization, fewer than 100 students participated in service projects during the summer, White said. This year, more than 400 students and faculty serve on ISP, USP and SOS teams and the number is growing.
Rather than just preparing students for a summer of service, White said she hopes to emphasize the importance of discipleship and help prepare students spiritually in the months prior to leaving.
“We never use the four-letter word ‘trip’ anymore,” White said. “We refer to them as ‘service projects’ and we don’t refer to them as a trip because it’s more than a trip for us. It’s not just the three weeks, it’s the whole six-month experience.”
One of the highlights of her time serving in the mobilization team has been being able to see first-hand mobilization every day of the year. She said one of her greatest joys is when ISP alumni take their mission a step further and continue to serve long after their service project is done.
One of the verses that White has been able to hold fast to during her time serving is Ephesians 3:20, which states, “With God’s power working in us, we can do much more than we can ask or imagine.”
“I never would have dreamed that I would have the opportunity to serve at a university for 10 years and partner with people on all levels of this institution,” White said. “There was only one prayer I prayed my first year here, and it was, ‘God, would you please grant me favor,’ and he answered that ten-fold. It’s been fun seeing how God wanted to do more here than we could have ever imagined.”
Rachel Miya, junior civil engineering major, works with White as an intern for the mobilization team. She served with White in Spain during the spring of her freshman year and said that having the opportunity to serve alongside White was a life-changing experience.
“I was able to see genuine leadership in Kristen as she both served and lead our team,” Miya said. “Kristen is the one who encouraged me to consider being an intern in the Mob office, and it was the best decision I have made in college. Kristen saw things in me while we were serving on the same team that I couldn’t yet see in myself and for that I am extremely grateful and blessed. I admire her greatly and have learned and grown from her discipleship.”