Thursday, January 5, 2012

Winter Break in the Mission Field

Winter break can be a time of rest, relaxation and recovery after the end of a long semester. But quite a few Gordon students are cutting their hibernation short: They're packing their bags and flying off to serve others around the world. Over the next week, student-led missions teams will travel to Haiti, Mexico and Northern Ireland.

In Haiti, students will have the opportunity to work with Partners in Development (PID), a faith-based organization involved in many aspects of development, from medical clinics to child sponsorship, small business lending and housing creation. The Gordon team will work with Hatian masons, building homes and helping to complete various other construction projects at nearby sites, all while learning about Hatian culture and the broader work of PID's development efforts.

Students traveling to Tijuana, Mexico, will be the latest in a long line of Gordon trips to the Mexican border city, building upon an already strong relationship between Gordon and the Tijuana community. Gordon volunteers will work with several local churches and orphanages, providing everything from Bible lessons to manual labor.

And while Gordon students continue to strengthen those established bridges, others will be building new ones in the United Kingdom. This group will travel to the New Lodge area of North Belfast in Northern Ireland—where ethno-political tensions run particularly high—to partner with 174 Trust, a Christian community engagement organization. Working with 174 Trust, they will serve the community through various work projects, as well as offering daycare services and after school projects with local children.

Sponsoring short-term missions trips has been a staple of Gordon College's Chapel Office, understanding that these service projects "represent unique opportunities for individuals to grow in their knowledge of God, the world, self, and others."

We pray for safe travels and transformative experiences for all involved in these trips. All of the groups will return just days before returning to campus for the Spring semester.

Photo: Gordon students from the 2010 Haiti trip pose for a picture with some local children.

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