At Northwestern College, the mission statement includes a call to participate in “God’s redeeming work in the world.” During a student’s college years, they can do this by participating in a spring service partnership, summer of service or by attending a justice and service program. All of these national and international programs wouldn’t be possible without Patrick Hummel.
Hummel, director of missions, has been working at NW for 14 years. Having studied and served in over 20 countries, he is more than qualified to do the work he does on campus. Since his college days, Hummel has served on short-term mission trips in a variety of settings. While working on his Master’s in Divinity in 2000, he and his wife served a summer with OMF International, a protestant Christian missionary society, in Thailand and Laos.
“For us, it was a time to learn and grow in our understanding of God’s mission in the world; it was also a time for us to discern if we were being called to serve overseas or stay in the U.S.,” Hummel said.
Ultimately, it was clear to them to remain in the U.S. but help expand God’s kingdom in other ways.
Hummel and student coordinators work alongside one another to organize SSPs, SOS trips and mission and justice programs.
“With the very capable assistance of my student coordinators,” Hummel said, “we select sites, recruit and train leaders and participants, lead fundraising efforts and help integrate these experiences into their everyday lives.”
Adam DeBoer is an SSP coordinator who works alongside co-coordinator Brenna Rauwedink and Hummel to help hire student leaders for trips, recruit students and other assist with administrative details related to SSPs.
“Patrick is so much more than just my boss,” DeBoer said. “He has provided me with a model of what it looks like to live a selfless, joy-filled, Christ-centered life.”
Alyssa Feeley is a co-leader for the Mescalero, New Mexico SSP this year.
“Patrick is helping me build my confidence to co-lead a team,” Feeley said. “He is very encouraging and reminds me that I won’t have all the answers when leading.”
Hummel continually keeps Christ as the focus in all that he does, which is also something that Feeley appreciates.
Hummel has made a remarkable impact on the students he interacts with.
“He is lifting others up and pushing them to be their best and lead with a servant heart,” Feeley said.
Hummel continually reminds himself and others that the work they are doing is for the glory of God, pointing everything back to Christ.
Not only has Hummel made an impact on the students he’s with, but also the impact the students have made on him.
“The students have taught me a lot about perseverance, grit and determination as they share their personal stories with me,” Hummel said. “They have also brought me a lot of laughter and joy into my office. I am far past young, but my students sometimes help me forget that fact.”
Hummel has enjoyed working together with his students and colleagues.
“NW students are hardworking, gifted beyond what they realize, missions oriented and graciously put up with a guy like me every year,” Hummel said.
For the future of NW and missions, Hummel would love to expand the capacity to help students better integrate what they learn through the service programs.
“We don’t want students to say, ‘well that was a nice spring break trip’ and just move on with life,” Hummel said. “We want to students to say, ‘I learned (blank) during my spring break. Help me Lord, integrate and steward this faithfully into my everyday life.’”