Every summer numerous Northwestern students set off to various places around the globe. From Compton to the Philippines and everywhere in between, God’s mission is a global effort to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to everyone. Our students get only a taste or glimpse of how God is working in and through people around the world. The purpose of the Summer of Service (SOS) program is that “The SOS seeks to prepare students to be culturally competent Christian servants in the world and to come alongside, assist and encourage those engaged in Christian mission,” according to the NW directory. In total there were 17 Northwestern students who set off into the world to 10 different sites. Of course, every story matters and is important to how God is working in the world. But it is impossible to cover every story to the extent it deserves. The student highlights that this article will include are junior nursing student, Laci Davenport’s (trip to Southeast Asia, senior business major, Kyle Christy’s trip to Compton, California and lastly senior elementary education major, Emily Kraft’s trip to Thailand.
Davenport went to Southeast Asia to work with an organization called Pioneers. This program partners college aged students with their long-term team to minister to the community around them. Davenport states, “We lived in a dorm with a whole bunch of college students attending the university. We ministered and befriended the girls there, being one of the first Christians they had ever met.” From this, one can gather how Pioneer’s fits into the NW SOS mission statement. Coming alongside, assisting and encouraging those in mission and potentialy new Christians. Davenport also grew tremendously in engaging different cultures and states. “I’ve learned that it is good to be curious and it is good to step into those conversations even if it may be awkward at first,” she said. All in all, her SOS trip to Southeast Asia was full of ministry, answered prayers and Christian witness to how God is working in this area of the world through Pioneers.
Kyle Christy and Abigail Blok ventured to Compton, California to work with The City Church of Compton. They helped with various kid’s camps, vacation Bible schools, service projects, leading Bible studies, preparing food on Monday nights and being a part of God’s mission in Compton. When asked about how he saw God working in Compton, Christy states, “The people in Compton live deeply communal lives.
They share life with each other and are a testament to what it means to care for your neighbors.” Clearly, the deep fellowship and love for thy neighbor is evident of God working in Compton. This is a testament to why a summer in Compton on an SOS is filled with so much love, fellowship and desire for something greater. In addition, NW has an annual Spring Service Partnership program in Compton, so if any of this experience sounds enticing and you cannot commit to an SOS then maybe look into this.
Last, but certainly not least, is Kraft’s trip to Bangkok, Thailand. Kraft worked alongside a ministry called “Santisuk”. Santisuk is a ministry connected with a school that teaches mostly 13–50-year-olds English through Bible stories. When asked how God was working Kraft stated, “God worked so much this summer. It was so encouraging to see my students and their curiosity to learn more about God all through the stories we were able to share.” Kraft did not only connect with her students in school but also was heavily encouraged to form relationships in her free time. Even though language barriers exist, the love of God is greater and the SOS trip to Bangkok was a reflection of God’s love in and out of school.
These are not the only SOS stories from NW students, plenty of others have had the opportunity to see how God works in all places.