Gordon in the News: last updated 06/13/2011

Summer Trips with a Mission: Gordon Students Take Learning to The World

From Sri Lanka and South Africa to Honduras and China, dozens of Gordon students will travel to unique parts of the world this summer, merging their classroom experiences with specialized mission opportunities.

Through the Global Education Office, five international seminars will take place during the summer of 2011. Beginning May 22 and running through June 10, four students will join two professors for Gordon’s first ever Kinesiology International Seminar in Honduras. Led by Jessica Ventura, assistant professor of kinesiology, the trip is a selected topics course offered by Gordon’s Kinesiology Department and introduces students to congenital and developmental physical disabilities often evidenced in the developing Central American nations. The group will also learn how people live with these disabilities within the framework of a society that has limited government support for their specific needs; the goup will have opportunities to provide care and therapy throughout the experience.

“This immerses our students in a new culture that enriches their perspective of God’s created humanity,” says Ventura. “It’s a great opportunity to apply what we’ve learned in a setting where the challenges are far greater than what we’ve experienced in the U.S.” (For more details, see http://kinesiologyinternationalseminar.blogspot.com/)

From May 27–June 14, nine students will participate in Gordon’s third China Seminar sponsored by the Economics and Business Department and led again by Stephen Smith, chair of the Economics and Business Department. The group will visit corporate headquarters for various businesses while observing first-hand the economic issues confronting China’s marketplace. (For more details see the China Seminar page.)

Other academic trips include the Greece Seminar with History, June 17–July 3, led by David Wick, associate professor of history; the Salzburg Summer School in Austria for humanities, history, art and music, July 8–August 12; and the British Theatre Seminar, August 6–August 21, led by Jeff Miller, professor of theatre arts, and Dawn Sarrouf, production manager and technical director in Gordon’s Theatre Department. Learn more about international seminar and summer programs.

In addition to academic seminars, the Chapel Office will host three one-month mission trips with 8–12 students from across academic disciplines participating in each. Destinations include India for the fourth year, Swaziland for the third year, and for the first time, Uganda. The trip to Uganda, which is being led by Jordan Frank, a junior international affairs major from Burlington, Massachusetts, was ignited by Frank’s friendship with a pastor in Uganda.

“I am so excited for this opportunity for our team to learn about Uganda, the people we are sharing our time with, ourselves, and our God,” says Frank.

The Uganda team will focus on construction of a school in Kampala. Similarly, students going to Swaziland will work on construction projects for facilities to house orphans. The team headed to India will spend their time with three separate organizations: VISTHAR, a training ground for seminars on justice issues; BIRDS, a rural farm community where leaders learn sustainable agriculture techniques; and Children’s Homes of India, a home caring for over 300 orphans and abandoned children. Learn more about missions at Gordon.

“These trips expand the horizon of concern for our students as well as their level of self-knowledge and their understanding of God’s presence in their lives and His work in the world,” says Laura Carmer, director of missions. “The students take their energy, enthusiasm and desire to serve and love others. They work with, and learn from, people who are already doing important work in their own contexts.”