Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Incredible Journeys: Christmas Break Missions

LeTourneau students have impressive work ethic – they recently closed a challenging semester, then many packed their bags and traveled to far-off locales to fulfill their part of the Great Commission.

Sophomore biology major Emily Tutt traveled to Ecuador and described her trip as “very beautiful and very fast,” having spent three days in three cities with her church, International Full Gospel Fellowship (IFGF).

Although quick, the time was well spent. Emily was part of a group conducting training sessions for leaders of Ecuador’s IFGF church.

Emily Tutt in Quito, Ecuador
“We each had a topic to present concerning an aspect of the identity of an IFGF church and – really – of any of God’s churches,” she said. “I spoke on the importance of the Great Commission and how to act it out in practical ways, largely following the discipleship model presented by Timothy and Paul.”

Emily said others spoke on compassion, being a cutting-edge church, and being more than conquerors in Christ – all for the purpose of creating a healthier, more encouraged international body of Christ.

Sophomore Sam Hodges, a civil engineering major, decided to go with his church on a mission trip to Mexico, even though it meant he wasn’t able to go home to his family in New York.

“Our pastor challenged us to pray and ask God why you can’t go. So I did, and from there decided to go. I didn’t even have a passport. It was really time-sensitive but God worked it out.”

Sam worked to hold VBS for local kids in Piedras Negras, where kids who only had a vague idea of Jesus learned about the gospel through a translator. Despite the language barrier, he got to know the kids by simply spending time with them and playing quite a bit of soccer as a way to connect.

“Even just loving on them – that shows a lot. Our actions speak louder than words, and in that way we can be Christ to them."

He also shared the gospel with local people in their homes. He witnessed a family place their faith in Christ and was able to connect them with a local church to ensure their spiritual growth.

Allie Erkelens in Sentani, Indonesia
Junior Allie Erkelens traveled to Indonesia through LETU’s School of Aviation. The trip has been a long time coming for Allie, who has been interested in aviation and missions since she was young. Since coming to LeTourneau, she’s combined her two loves – and they took her to the other side of the world.

A mission aviation major, Allie worked with JAARS at their aviation base in Sentani, Indonesia - her first experience working in a hangar outside of class.

“I helped take the wings and tail off a heliocourier, and then I got to work on a pt6 turbine engine. It was a lot of fun and amazing to have that work experience in a real, live hangar, working on real, live aircraft.”

Many don’t realize the detailed processes these missions require, but Allie was in the thick of it, working on aircraft that would provide transportation that provides missionaries transportation to the homes of unreached people groups. 

Aiding missionaries, sharing the gospel with children, and helping to grow the church - these are several of the reasons why we think LeTourneau students are incredible. 

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