By Sarah Burkholder
HLG public relations staff writer
Hannibal – In May a group of Hannibal-LaGrange College (HLG) students started their journey to Vancouver, BC, Canada for a month-long mission trip to share God’s Word and experience His power. God did not wait until the students arrived in Vancouver to show His power to them. Seth Smith, senior history major, says, “Getting to Vancouver in itself was something of a minor miracle. We were short of money, but God provided for us. One of the members of the team was stopped at the Canadian border and told he could not go through because he was an international student. However, God provided a way for him to get through.”
The Vancouver trip, which was sponsored by the North American Mission Board and Hannibal-LaGrange College, ran May 10-June 8. Twenty-seven HLG students were able to be a part of the Vancouver team.
The students spent the month assisting church planters by conducting surveys on local campuses and the surrounding communities, witnessing on transit systems, and building websites. Christina Carter, a junior early childhood education major, shares one of her experiences on the Canadian transit system. “On one of our free days, I practically had someone ask me to share the Gospel with them. We were waiting on a bus and someone asked us where we were from. I was the closest so I told him and he asked why we were up in Canada. I said, ‘We’re doing survey work on college campuses and making a website with information on different colleges around the area and just sharing what we believe …’ One of the guys next to him stopped me and asked what I believe. I asked him if I could tell him and I got to talk to him the whole next bus ride, which was at least 10 minutes long. It was amazing how God just opened that up for me!”
Carter says she learned a lot about initiating conversation throughout the month in Vancouver. “People there were very closed off until you started talking to them. Some still ignored you, but others were more than willing to open up and share things with you most people would not. I also learned that evangelism is very deliberate at times. You have to just jump out there and be ready to share with people in day-to-day life and watch for those opportunities we would usually miss out on.”
Along with surveys and transit outreach, the students got to enjoy morning group devotions, and an evening debriefing time to share what they had experienced that day. “I was on the website team, which meant that I didn’t get to go out much. Instead, for me I got to see God work during the debriefing times when others on the team shared about the amazing experiences they had that day. I didn’t get to go out, but it was still like I got to be a part of their experience because we were the ones who sent them out each day,” said Smith.
For these 27 students God’s power was shown to them, and groundwork was laid for more Vancouver mission opportunities.
For more information on the missions program at Hannibal-LaGrange College contact Tom Hufty, Vice President for Collegiate Affairs at (573) 221-3675 ext. 3195.