Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2017 6:00 pm

This year, Northwest University continues to live out the belief in empowered engagement with human need by sending out nine summer mission teams to share the love of Jesus Christ with people all around the world. The teams will be traveling to Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Swaziland, Cambodia, Thailand, and Italy. Each team is led and consist of students of NU.

The teams will be approaching ministry in each area differently, as the cultures and demographics are unique in each location.

Team Cambodia is made up of eight members and will be gone from May 28- Jun. 3. The team will be partnering with the Christian organization, Hope for Justice, which fights human trafficking around the world.

“We exist to bring an end to modern slavery by rescuing victims, restoring lives, and reforming society.”

      Hope for Justice

The Cambodia team will be working with girls who have been affected by sex trafficking, by helping them develop their English skills through creative writing. The girls range in age from around 15 to 17 years old, and the ability to speak English can help open doors for them and strengthen their hope for the future.

Senior Jelsy Gundao is passionate about fighting sex trafficking, and is excited to be able to play a part in fighting the larger issue as a part of this team partnering with Hope for Justice. She believes sex trafficking is a growing problem, and the public needs to both realize its severity and step up to the plate in taking action to fight it.

“It’s an epidemic… and it’s growing,” said Gundao. “We like to think that it doesn’t happen anymore, but it is still an evident thing and people need to realize that.”

The Costa Rica team, led by senior Lyubov Bernik, will be gone from May 22-Jun. 3 working in underdeveloped neighborhoods with the organization Students International. The team will be ministering through six different areas: social services, sports, education, social work, special education, and woodshop.

“I studied abroad in Costa Rica last spring through Students International, and was greatly impacted by their ministry and being at the ministry sites,” said Bernik. “I wanted to take a team down there for other people to be able to experience some of that, too.”

The Thailand team will be heading out to Hai Yai, a city in southern Thailand. The group of five students be serving alongside Assembly of God missionaries and a Chi Alpha team from Virginia Tech. They will be evangelizing through the basis of teaching English, as well as community service in the slums.

“We’re really excited to be able to serve and minister in such a secular area,” said team leader Zachary Bates. “Southeast Asia as a whole is heavily influenced by the sex industry, so working with young people in a way that introduces Christ will be an incredible opportunity.”

God is doing great things – not just at NU, but all around the world. This campus is blessed by the opportunity to send students that are willing to step out and share the love of Christ with those who do not yet know him. Pray for the countries of Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Swaziland, Cambodia, Thailand, and Italy as the teams prepare to do ministry there.

“God is going to do amazing things through each of the mission trips going out this summer,” said Bernik. “My prayer is that everyone will be prepared spiritually for going out on the trips, and be listening to the Holy Spirit in his leading on the trip. Our eyes will be opened, and God is going to do the rest!”