Visiting Papua New Guinea on a Youth Outreach Ministry (YOM) missions trip this summer, nursing grad Sarah Jane Jaberina (’16) and some PCC students joined a medical clinic to meet the physical needs of the natives. The patients they saw varied from the fragile elderly to an expectant mother with a high-risk pregnancy.
“The nervous mother saw the missionaries as her only hope of a healthy delivery,” said Sarah Jane. “In the middle of the chaos, one of the missionaries found an opportunity to share the gospel with her. We excitedly observed the missionary show her patient and her patient’s mother that their only hope for eternity was Jesus. What an extraordinary ministry that not only tends to physical needs but is sensitive to the spiritual needs of the lives they touch!”
This summer, YOM sent eighteen teams to fifteen countries, sharing the gospel through creative outreach ministries like medical clinics, English language classes, and sports camps as well as helping with VBS, Bible clubs, and other outreach ministries in the local churches. For the PCC students, faculty, and recent grads volunteering to serve, summer was an opportunity to make an eternal difference.
“God surrounded us with opportunities to witness for Him every single day in Honduras,” said Sarah Swafford (Jr., VA). She recounted how her team looked for opportunities to witness, even getting out of their vehicle in standstill traffic to pass out gospel tracts. “There are people all around us that are searching for hope, for light, and for something to believe in,” she said.
Many students returned from the mission trips with a renewed sense of ministry. Emily Ferguson, a member of the Belize team, said, “Being in Belize has definitely been an experience. I came to get a feel for life on the mission field, and it was nothing like I expected. From hiking through the jungle to singing songs at VBS, I’m just glad God has given me the opportunity to serve him here.”
Micah Gorman, a member of the Goiânia, Brazil, team said, “Brazil was pretty awesome! The church services and youth events were very encouraging. The church’s heart for the young people of Goiânia and neighboring areas was a huge blessing to see.”
Goiânia team leader, PCC English faculty Autumn Pearson, agreed that the trip had made a difference in her life also. “One of the wonderful things about Goiânia was getting to visit vibrant churches with friendly fellow believers,” she said. “Our team had the opportunity to sing a special with some of the Brazilian youth, and after the evening service, we gathered around the piano to play together.”
Unexpectedly, the ministries that the YOM teams went to minister to ended up ministering to them, often refocusing, encouraging, and revitalizing a thirst in the team to spread the gospel.
After returning from the Honduras trip, Sarah said, “It struck me just how simple things like handing out tracts can be done just as easily in the United States. If we hold the light of eternity in our hearts, and are given new opportunities to share that hope day in and day out, why would we not be willing to share that light?”