Moody Spring 2021 Commencement Ceremonies
As Moody recessed for Spring Break from March 12–27, 54 Moody Bible Institute representatives participated in six cross-cultural ministry trips. Organized by the Practical Christian Ministry (PCM) department, students and staff were sent to England, Scotland, Thailand, the Philippines, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma for short-term ministry experiences.
The group of nine students in Formby, England, worked with Formby Baptist Church, serving in various church ministry activities and assisting with special events.
“Our goal was to serve Formby Baptist Church in any and all areas of their ministry,” said Unity Ostercamp, group leader and ministry project coordinator for the PCM department. “We had four preachers who took turns bringing the Word on Sunday mornings, and they did a fantastic job utilizing the teaching they have received at Moody. The ladies on the team also encouraged the women during our Girls Night Out activity and led the women’s Bible study.”
Students in Scotland also had the opportunity to work with the local Church. The team of eight, led by Robert Rivera, S.E.E.D. Ministries supervisor, collaborated with Robert Bell and Moody’s 2011 Alumnus of the Year, Ian Leitch, of The Herald's Trust to work with two churches. Students led Sunday night services, youth group and children’s ministry activities and learned about Scottish church history. The trip closed with street outreach in Edinburgh.
Countries away, 11 students and two staff members in Thailand ministered to the poor and troubled in juvenile detention centers, an orphanage for disabled children, a slum community and an area of prostitution.
“Through evangelistic outreach and showing love, the team hoped to proclaim Christ, encourage Thai believers, grow in knowledge of God and gain cross-cultural ministry experience,” said Nok Prukpitikul, team co-leader and assistant dean of international students. “God opened our eyes to see the great work of salvation that He has already been actively doing among the people of Thailand.”
Across the South China Sea, in the Philippines, 10 students and three leaders collaborated with Christian Light Foundation, Samaritana and OMF International Missionary and Moody Alumnus Mark McDowell for evangelism and encouragement. This group ministered through organizing street outreach, facilitating Vacation Bible Schools for children in squatter communities and working with women coming out of prostitution.
As part of a VBS lesson, Moody students washed the children’s feet.
“All of the children seemed dumbfounded that these Americans would get down on their knees to wash their feet," said Nathan Strand, team leader and PCM operations manager. "And one student remarked how it brought tears to his eyes as some children winced when he gently washed these dirty feet covered with scrapes, scabs and scratches.”
Students also served in the United States. Working with World Impact, five students traveled to St. Louis, Mo. and Wichita, Kan., to visit church plants. This trip was about exposure and understanding as students witnessed and participated in church planting among the urban poor, attending planting seminars and visiting churches.
Additionally, four Moody students served churches in Oklahoma. This ministry experience among the Choctaw churches gave students the opportunity to use their gifts and practice various aspects of ministry. During the two weeks of break, the group traveled to area churches to invite youth to weekend retreats the students had planned.
In leading the retreats and visiting the churches, the Moody group was instrumental in encouraging the churches, with whom the PCM department has worked for 30 years.
“It encourages [the churches] to see the students come back,” said Gloria Alicea, trip leader and PCM office assistant. “They see how they’re serving the Lord by serving them.”
-Anna De Zarn, freshman, International Ministry