Every year our Adventist colleges and universities send out hundreds of student missionaries around the globe for a year. Below are three items of interest about student missionaries–
- Five keys to getting a good start as a student missionary in a foreign country.
- A link to a website for anyone interested in going as a student missionary.
- A inspiring letter from Ryan Rogers, a member of the Meadow Glade Seventh-day Adventist Church in Battle Ground, WA (OR Conf) serving in Cairo, Egypt.
Five keys to getting a good start as a student missionary
- Remember that God brought you here. Ask Him to show you often some indications of His leading and why He put you here at this time. When you see His hand praise and thank Him for that specific thing or experience.
- Take lots and lots of pictures during the first days and weeks. Later things won’t look as unusual to you so take the pictures while they still catch your attention. When you get home and show them to others, they will be surprised and have questions about things you have learned to take for granted.
- Keep a journal of unique experiences and people. It doesn’t have to be long or done daily, but record short paragraphs every few days that you can enjoy later and share with others.
- Get out of the house as often as possible at first. Culture shock will try to keep you indoors, but this needs to be overcome. Keeping basic security issues in mind, always go with someone else.
- Try to learn the name and one trait of 20 different people as soon as possible. Write them down. Pray for them to know Jesus or grow in Jesus. Many of these can become lifelong, if not eternal, friends.
A link to a website for anyone interested in going as a student missionary http://www.adventistvolunteers.org/
Letter from Ryan Rogers, serving in Cairo, Egypt.
Hello everyone. Life is very blessed here at Nile Union Academy (NUA). I appreciate all your prayers for my service here in Egypt. I want to let you all know a little more about what I am doing here and how things are going.
We are about three weeks into the second quarter of school. This school year has had some rough spots. There was major division among the students for the entire month of October and part of November due to the schools SA elections. There were lies made up about the students who were running and the school was split. It was very serious. Many friendships were broken and the peaceful atmosphere of the school was destroyed. But praise God, the students were able to see their mistakes and make things right. There is peace again at NUA. It was amazing to see the change in the school. It was all a beautiful answer to prayer.
I have learned a ton about life in the last three and a half months. Teaching these students has taught me so much. I really enjoy it. I have a real opportunity to build friendships with my students. Many of them are my age or older. Many of them I have in class twice a day. The friendships I have made with them are a blessing and these friendships are where the real ministry happens.
In the beginning of October we had a 10 day vacation as Egypt requires all schools to observe the Ramadan Feast. Ramadan is a Muslim holiday that lasts for a month. During Ramadan Muslims fast during the day and eat at night. The month is intended to help them focus on prayer. I don’t really know what it is all about but I know it affects many things that happen in Egypt. When the masques give the call that tells them it is time to eat the streets become a mad mess (ever worse than they normally are). When Ramadan ends all of Egypt has a feast that lasts for a week. So we didn’t have school for that time.
During the vacation I had the chance to go to two small villages in Upper Egypt called Zowek and Dehassa. I traveled by bus through the dessert with three other missionaries and about 30 students. It took about 7 hours to get form the school to the villages. They are much different than Cairo. They are small and quiet with children everywhere. The biggest difference is their culture. Cairo is a huge city and the culture is a bit blurred, but the villages are a real cultural experience. They eat so much. Their hospitality is incredible yet it can become a problem. If you enter their house they must feed you something and they don’t let you refuse. We had 30 students to visit. Most of the homes offered soda. We drank so much soda. I don’t plan to drink it again. Also, it is a big event for foreigner to visit the villages so the government supplies foreigners with bodyguards. So we spent the week with personal (armed) bodyguards who followed us everywhere we went and slept outside the houses we stayed in.
The weather is still beautiful and sunny but it is beginning to get colder. Everyone in the school is catching colds as the weather changes. The students all wear big coats and hats and scarves. I laughed at them because it is not that cold but this week I started to do it too. It gets down to 50 degrees in the mornings and around 75 in the afternoons. And we think it is cold. I wear a sock hat and a jacket when it is 65 degrees. Every day is so beautiful here. The sun is always shinning, even when it is only 75 degrees.
This year I spent thanksgiving at a theme park called Dream Park. The whole school went for the day. It was hot! It didn’t seem like thanksgiving. We even went on some water rides to cool off. When I was on the high rides I could see the pyramids. The park was founded partially by Osama Bin Laden. I thought that was interesting. We didn’t play football or eat a big meal. We ate sack lunches, little ones. However, on Sabbath the staff had a massive potluck and we even had pumpkin pie. There were about 30 of us who celebrated thanksgiving together. Out of the 30 only 4 of them were American. The rest were Egyptian, French, Canadian, Lebanese and Georgian. It was a thanksgiving I will remember.
One thing I am very excited about is our ministry team. We have started a ministry team that is made up of 8 students and me. We travel to different churches in Egypt to share our love for Jesus and encourage them in their faith. The church in Egypt is struggling. And we have the opportunity to bring life to it. We have only gone to one church so far. We did a Friday night service and a Sabbath service. We have 6 more weekend trips planned. It is amazing to have the opportunity to serve Jesus in an entirely Muslim world. I have been organizing a mission trip that we will go on this Christmas break. I am going with a group of students to two villages in Upper Egypt to do evangelistic meeting. We will also be doing a separate program for the kids and various work projects during the day. There is really no evangelism in Egypt. That makes our work here very significant. Pray for us as we seek to bring life to the few Christian congregations in Egypt. It is such an exciting work to be a part of.
This school is just a blessed place. There is so much of Jesus here. The students want to know God and they are very faithful in seeking Him. These students encourage me. They are so pure. I love them. If you have been praying for this school I believe that your prayers are being answered. Wherever you are I pray that you continue to serve our God with a strong faith and I look forward to seeing you all soon.
(You can write to Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org)