All Systems ‘GO’ For Students on International Missions
By Cooper Nelson
GCU News Bureau
Grand Canyon University’s global outreach team distributed a few hundred information cards at the first Chapel service of the year, expecting the same moderate student interest in international mission trips that staffers noticed in past years.
After the first couple weeks of school, nearly 2,000 student request emails crammed the global outreach inbox in advance of this week’s Global Outreach Week, which is known as “GO Week.”
Jacob Page, GCU’s global outreach director, planned to take advantage of the influx in student interest to make a larger impact on international Christian mission trips this year.
“We want students to be passionate about the world and passionate about God,” said Page, who will lead a handful of missions trips later this year, including those to Thailand and northeast Africa.
“(GO Week) allows students to get information and have their questions answered about mission’s trips,” Page said. “It creates a culture here at GCU where we are more globally-minded.”
GO Week begins today and includes daily events through Friday. This year’s theme is “Short-term trip, long-term impact.”
Applications are currently available through the Office of Spiritual Life in the lobby of Prescott Hall. Students can also apply for trips at events during GO Week or by emailing GO@gcu.edu. The application deadline for this year’s trips is Friday, Oct. 25.
GO Week events include:
- Distribution of “GO Week Passport” information booklets at today’s Chapel service at GCU Arena.
- A message about global missions by Page at Tuesday night’s theGathering service at 8 p.m. Love International Ministries will lead worship in four different languages.
- Screening of “War Dance,” a film showcasing the true story of how dance affected the lives of three Ugandan children, Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Howerton Lecture Hall in the Ken Blanchard College of Business.
- The Trip Reveal event Thursday at 6 p.m. in Antelope Gym.
- The Prayer for the Nations Day, a 24-hour event to pray for the world, across campus on Friday. Each campus building will be dedicated to a different prayer topic and the Prayer Chapel will serve as the central hub.
Planners shoehorned past GO Weeks into single-night events at theGathering services due to limited staff, but an increased full-time employee and student team allowed Page to expand to a full week and nearly triple the number of trips from six to 20.
Of the 20 offered trips, only 15 are available to students. New trips become available every day, according to Page. A handful of this year’s trips are specific to certain campus groups, like GCU “servant scholars” and nursing and healthcare administration students.
This year’s global mission’s trips offer a range of options for students, from trips lasting two days to two months, and price ranges from $200 to $3,000. Destinations include South America, Africa, Asia and Europe, among others. Students are responsible for fundraising for the cost of the trip, encouraged to bring a Bible, and receive any necessary vaccinations prior to leaving.
GCU alumnus Liz Martin’s background in missionary work allowed Page to increase the reach of missions this year. Page hired Martin as outreach ministry coordinator in September.
Martin arrived at GCU as a student in the spring of 2011 after living in Kenya for five months and working at a non-profit organization focused on missionary work. Martin will lead three trips this year, including a month-long trip to India and a summer internship trip to Kenya.
The 23-year-old former digital film production student said the increase in demand for global outreach by students and sees the University’s growth as an opportunity to answer God’s call to serve globally.
“I think as the campus grows, we need to be available and create attractions for (students) to be exposed to trips and obey the things God has commanded us to do, which are to love people of all nations,” Martin said. “You don’t know the needs of the world until you get plugged-in and serve.”
Contact Cooper Nelson at 639.7511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.