July 24, 2024

Mobilization adapts service opportunities, includes all student body.

Since last school year, changes have occurred such as new buildings, new Chapel times and new housing and lastly, a change made to Spiritual Life, specifically Mobilization.

In the past year, 36 International Service Projects were offered and students traveled to multiple continents.

This year, ISP will serve as the umbrella term for the different types of trips: Encounter, Engagement and Immersion.

Each type of ISP trip has a different length with different ways to serve the community.

The three trips range from eight days to 10 weeks across the world.

Both Immersion and Engagement are faith-based but one of the more significant changes is Encounter, which is a non-faith-based service opportunity.

Jeff Lewis, director of Mobilization, has been a part of Spiritual Life for the past two years and said he saw the need for changes.

Over the last 30 years, Lewis has participated in extensive travel across the United States for conferences and retreats as well as trips to 48 different countries to participate in indigenous mobilization.

“Coming into Mobilization, I had an ideological belief that there needed to be some changes in Mobilization to reflect what I’ve learned over the last 30 years,” Lewis said. “Being to so many different countries has certainly given me a wealth of experience and insight.”

Lilia Valdez, senior political science and English double major and Mobilization intern, said the alterations were bound to occur since the university is never the same as it was the previous year.

“As the culture and atmosphere at CBU changes, the programs also have to adapt,” Valdez said. “The different length of trips, as well as more specific teams, will allow individuals to partake in something that will impact them beyond their experiences at CBU.”

The addition of Encounter was created with the purpose of catering to the entire CBU student body.

“Probably the most significant change is providing an opportunity for non-faith-based service,” Lewis said. “We need to provide ways for (students) to experience sacrificial service around the world beyond their comfort zones.”

Besides the spread of the gospel, ISP trips are meant to challenge students beyond what they thought they could handle and create a well-rounded worldview.

“Anytime you stretch a college student beyond their natural comfort zone and get them to experience other cultures and how to serve people in other cultures, you’ve done a huge service to their development,” Lewis said.

Mobilization will also reach out to more local churches, besides the three or four with whom they regularly work, for partnerships. The churches will be involved in the selection and training of the students for the trip.

The deadline to sign up for ISP next summer is Oct. 13, and training will begin during the start of the spring semester.

To sign up for an ISP trip, visit the Spiritual Life office in Lancer Plaza.

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