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Students step out of comfort zone on short-term mission trip
By Chanhyung Martin Choi
I had never thought about going to Africa before. I had learned and heard about Africa from some of my African friends, but it was just their story, not mine. Thanks to God, Africa became my story in the summer of 2011. I appreciate that God has allowed me to stretch my viewpoint through unique experiences in Africa.
I can describe my trip to Africa with this one word: "DIVERSITY." I went to Ghana in West Africa as a short-term mission trip with four other CIU students.
First of all, our team members were very diverse. We are Korean, Asian-American, Caucasian-American, African-American and Ghanaian. Each of us has a different skin color, temperament, and way of viewing things. In short, everything was different about each of us. The one thing we had in common was a passion for Christ. This passion for the gospel made us one body in Christ. The differences caused us to struggle. However, God helped us to be transformed through that time and He led us to love each other in unity.
Second, I experienced this “DIVERSITY” by observing the Ghanaian Christians. They had a great passion to evangelize people, to pray loudly, and to praise God with shouting, singing and dancing. They had a different way to worship God our Father. I was excited that I could witness this diverse way of worshiping God. I imagined a day with every tribe, tongue and nation worshiping together and glorifying His name, each with their unique style of worship. I could take a sip of the joy of heaven through the beauty of this diversity.
My short term-mission trip caused me to grow both inwardly and outwardly. I remember during CIU’s 2010 World Christian Week, when CIU Chancellor George Murray challenged the CIU students to be part of God’s mission. He exhorted us to go on short- term mission trips as a VISION trip, and see God’s vision for each of us.