Southwestern Students Serve As Missionaries Around the World

Matthew Hanson spent last semester as a student missionary on the island of Yap in the South Pacific.

Eighteen students from Southwestern have felt the call to serve God abroad as student missionaries this year. These students are spread across the globe, yet when they come home, there will be a need for others to take their place. The missions team at Student Life and Development have given a step by step of what to expect when you feel like you are being called.

According to Matthew Hanson, SLAD Missions leader, the journey starts when a student comes to the SLAD office and tells them that they are interested in going abroad. From there the Missions Team asks some questions such as where the student wants to go and what they would like to do. The students have almost anywhere in the world as an option as to where to serve—student missionaries serve everywhere—however, the jobs, or “calls,” are few. There is teaching, which is the most popular, assistance deans, maintenance, and media work, which is Adventist World Radio.

“The thing to remember is that you need to be fluid. Be willing to do everything,” says Hanson.

The next thing for the student is to decide how long they would like to be abroad. A general missions trip lasts about one semester but can continue for up to two years.

One thing that remains the same regardless of the duration of the trip or what students do is the memories that they make and the people they meet.

“You build relationships of trust [that] help you reach [the students] academically as well as spiritually,” Hanson says. “It’s something I’ll always remember.”

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