Earlier this summer, 11 Cedarville University students participated in a mission trip to Les Cayes, Haiti, where they laid the foundation for a hospital and framed a foundation of faith.
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Leanne Rubosky, associate director of high school and transfer students at Cedarville in Greene County, led the team. She had been to Haiti with her church last year, and that particular trip left her broken, as she thought about the desperate need there after Hurricane Matthew devastated the country in 2016. “I didn’t want to be one of those people who never went back,” said Rubosky. “This second trip showed me the progress being made and allowed us to live side by side with the Haitians. I gained a deeper understanding of their lifestyle and left the country feeling encouraged by what God is doing.”
The Cedarville team spent the eight-day trip visiting two orphanages and helping build a new hospital, which will be run by Bethesda Evangelical Mission, a solid presence in the community. They delivered baby formula bought with money from a cookie fundraiser to a local hospital and while there, they prayed over a baby on oxygen and struggling to live. The child’s mother witnessed this and exclaimed, “I want your Jesus!” She then prayed and accepted Christ as her personal savior.
Pastor Lubin, director of Bethesda Evangelical Mission, invited a student to preach during an English Sunday service. Jesse Childress, a 2017 social work graduate, felt unprepared for such a venture and struggled with apprehension, however, with no volunteers by Saturday night, Childress accepted the invitation.
With no clear direction for the sermon, Childress went to bed but awoke a short time later, startled by dogs barking. “I knew this was God’s doing and prayed that if he wanted me to get up and prepare the sermon, he would need to quiet the dogs,” he said. “The dogs stopped barking, and I got up to struggle through lesson preparation.”
Childress spoke on passages from 1 Corinthians, reminding the Haitian believers to live a life of love, to serve God by serving others, to meet needs and help people walk with the Lord.
“The experience preaching was an exercise in the faithfulness of God, his mercy and forgiveness and a reminder that I have so much growth left in my life,” said Childress. “The situation reminded me that God speaks in a variety of ways: through Scripture, through the saints, through random dogs that won’t stop barking. It was a reminder that he is faithful to finish what he has started in me.”
Mission work is a priority at Cedarville. “We don’t serve just to do nice things for people; we believe Jesus Christ has given us new life in him through His death and resurrection,” said Rubosky.
By the end of this summer, Cedarville will have sent 35 domestic and international teams through Global Outreach in the 2016-17 school year.
“Our goal is to provide service trips that allow students, faculty and staff to use their fields of study or gifts to be an asset to ministries overseas,” said Keith Holcomb, assistant director for Global Outreach. “We seek long-term partnerships with those on the ground long term to form a sustainable ministry. We also desire our students to gain a greater perspective of what God is doing in the rest of the world.”
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