[blockquote]The spirit of sacrifice is visible in University-sponsored mission trips.[/blockquote]
The spirit of sacrifice is visible in another specific way: University-sponsored mission trips. These trips allow students to serve Christ across the globe and provide students with opportunities to extend their education in learning and service outside of the classroom. We believe that these trips expose PBU students to cross-cultural experiences that impact the lives of those they serve and so broaden the students’ perspective of God, themselves, and the world in which they live.
In 2011, PBU students are traveling around the globe to serve Christ in many ways:
15 students traveled to New Orleans from January 3-9 to help a new church plant build relationships in the Gentilly section of New Orleans, doing construction work with homeowners, serving in ministry with the homeless in the French Quarter, planting trees to help replace those that were lost, and building relationships with a charter school in the area. Groups from PBU have gone to New Orleans twice since Hurricane Katrina, and leaders in this new church plant have ongoing relationships with members of the PBU community.
Returning to a place a team went last year, 14 current students and a number of former students traveled to Kenya from January 6-23 to continue building the Benjamin Wellness Center for the people of this small community. The team assisted the local church in the construction of the Center as well as assisting with a medical camp, teaching True Love Waits school programs, and participating in local church services and ministries.
10 students went to the Southern Philippines from January 7-22 to work with Team Hope among Muslims in the region. While there, they worked with college students in a tutoring center, helped teach farming techniques to farmers in a community development center, and supported traveling medical clinics in the region.
8 members of the PBU baseball team went to Panama from January 13-22 in connection with the Rotary Clubs of Langhorne, PA; and David, Chiriqui Province, Panama. They worked on construction projects at an orphanage, service projects in the community, and youth baseball clinics, partnering with local churches to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of the people.
For many years now, teams from PBU have joined with Project Evangelism in Northern Ireland. From March 11-19, a team of 12 students returned to Dundrum, Northern Ireland, working with children and youth in Downpatrick, leading assemblies in the public schools, and running after school programs for children and “drop-ins” for youth during the evenings.
14 students traveled to Haiti from March 12-18 and worked in Port Au Prince to serve in various ways with CPR-3, including construction projects, medical assistance, kids’ camps, worship, and orphanage ministry.
From May 21-June 1, the PBU Chorale, comprised of more than 40 students, will travel to Poland to give concerts in towns where SEND International and Polish pastors are engaging the unreached to establish multiplying churches. The PBU Chorale visited Poland in 2006, and there is now a church in every town where they gave a concert.
From June 1-14, six business students will be going to Mumbai, India, for an International Business Experience course. They will be working with an organization called Bombay Teen Challenge, a ministry in Mumbai that fights human trafficking. The ministry has a small business of producing and selling women’s apparel which has been growing in the past few years. The class will be looking to assist this small enterprise in their operations and seek to help them grow bigger and faster.
Europe, Asia, Central America, Africa, and North America! These teams are comprised of not only students, but faculty, staff, and administrators. The PBU mission statement is realized in not only bringing students to our Langhorne campus but also in educating our students to present their lives as living sacrifices to God for the benefit of the whole world. The whole University is working toward that goal. Faith, sacrifice, and service are not limited to global mission trips or traditional ministry contexts; the various schools of the University also make an impact in the local community and abroad. The School of Music and Performing Arts offers monthly concerts, PBU-SIFE under the guidance of the
School of Business and Leadership holds a yearly career fair, and the Oasis Counseling Center takes in clients from the community. Students in the Department of Social Work lead an after school program, U-Link, for kids in Penndel. The School of Education has a program in International Education which offers courses in Germany, Hong Kong, and Brazil with the goal of transforming students, teachers, and schools across the world.
Faith and sacrifice define a genuine human life. As Christians we have heard the summons which calls us away from our attachments to this world. We have been incorporated into Christ to serve Him and fulfill His mission. This mission turns us outwards, not inwards. The PBU mission; Global Mission Week; University mission trips; and all of the classes, books, papers, and assignments work together to educate students to fulfill the student’s calling in the church, society, and the world. Jeder Ruf Christi fährt in den Tod.
1Lectures on Romans, Westminster John Knox Press, 1961, 112.
2Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, vol 4. Discipleship, Fortress Press, 2003, 87.