Service is a key part of the Southern experience. While there are several ways to serve in our local community (like our yearly MLK service day), many students choose to participate in our yearly short-term mission trips. Our uQuest Missions team plans short-term mission trips that go out mostly during spring break or early in the summer.
uQuest director Melissa Moore sees it as her calling to “guide students in identifying how their calling could look in a missional context.” Anya, a senior nursing major who participated in this year’s trip to Nicaragua, shared what that looked like for her.
“I found it an amazing blessing and experience to go out and serve in a medical line of work. Although communication was a barrier for me, it was beautiful to connect and help on such a practical level, meeting the immediate needs of the people we served in Nicaragua. I went wanting to make a difference in people's lives, to really feel it and know it. But I relearned over this trip that it is not anything I do that makes an impact on others, but Christ working in and through willing individuals. I was blessed to see God use such individuals and can't wait to see the unseen impact in heaven.”
uQuest has trips in the U.S. and all over the world. In the past students have served in places like Egypt, Southeast Asia, Central and South America, and different regions of the United States. This spring break, Southern students traveled to Bolivia, Brazil, Nicaragua, Peru, and the Navajo Nation.
Volunteers in Bolivia work with children in the Familia Feliz home. They plan a VBS program, educational activities, and help the center with maintenance and repair projects. The Brazil trip focuses on health evangelism. uQuest partners with Amazon Lifesavers, an organization with the mission to “inspire, equip and send volunteers into all the Amazon Region using health and evangelism to share Christ and Bible truth for these last days.”
Students who travel to Farmington, NM in the Navajo Nation partner with La Vida Mission to host a Week of Prayer for the students in Adventist school. They also help with health education and maintenance around the Mission. The Nicaragua mission focuses on bringing health clinic services to the Miskito people, in partnership with Tasba Raya. Another great trip for students interested in health care careers goes to Peru and partners with the AMOR Projects. There students help with health education and providing medical, dental, and spiritual services.
If you are a Southern student interested in joining the mission of uQuest, you can fill out an online application. If you’re not a student at Southern but want to get involved, contact uQuest director Melissa Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org. Melissa’s vision is for students “to return from a uQuest Mission Trip with the understanding that they are individually called to serve whether across the street or across the world.”
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