|More than 225 students, faculty and staff from Northwestern College will travel across the U.S. and around the world for the college’s annual Spring Service Projects (SSP) March 7 through 16.
Northwestern College mission teams will serve at four international sites this year. A new destination is the region of Puebla, Mexico, where students will help finish a recently constructed church and conduct Bible school for kids.
Northwestern students will return to Amsterdam in the Netherlands, where they will share their faith with guests at two Christian youth hostels; to Bluefields, Nicaragua, where they will work on a construction project, lead Bible school for children, and help at a health and feeding center; and to Campoo, Trinidad, where they will conduct Bible school, lead youth programming and participate in home visits.
There are three new U.S. service sites. The college is partnering with Emmanuel Reformed Church in Paramount, Calif., where students will help with neighborhood cleanup projects, interact with area youth at a recreation center, and lead chapel services at Christian schools in the inner city.
The two other new sites are located in Minnesota. One team will spend a week on the Grand Portage Indian Reservation, where students will work with Mt. Rose Community Church and participate in a wilderness experience with local youth. Another team will teach English with the Crescent Project, a ministry serving more than 50,000 Somalian immigrants living in Minneapolis.
Additional U.S. service opportunities include home repair and after-school programs in Annville, Ky.; hurricane relief work in New Orleans; construction and relational ministry in Opelousas, La.; urban ministry and racial reconciliation in Jackson, Miss.; teaching school in Mendenhall, Miss.; cleaning and remodeling inner-city churches in New York City; prison ministry in Lindale, Texas; and helping senior citizens in Dallas/Ft. Worth.
SSP members raise their own travel funds through their individual families, friends and churches and also through fundraisers on campus and in the community.
Northwestern College’s short-term mission programs bear the Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Missions (SOE) seal, ensuring that participating organizations get NWC mission teams that are of high quality. SOE standards include adequate pre-trip training and resources, as well as consistent post-trip follow-up and accountability.
“Spring Service Projects give students an opportunity to see God at work in the world and to serve and share their faith with others,” says the Rev. Tommy Moon, Northwestern’s director of missions. “Experiences like these are an important part of spiritual formation. It’s our hope that, through them, students gain a clearer understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.”