Serving 4,000 miles apart, two Life Pacific student teams ministered to the needs of people with a shared goal of using the skills they are learning in class to bless people who live a world apart.
The weather could not have been more different. Spring Break temperatures in Minnesota rarely top 50 degrees while the water and air temperatures on Oahu hold steady in the mid-70s.
Life Pacific student teams ministered to residents of the two diverse locations during Spring Break 2019 sharing the love of Christ and skills they are learning in their respective degree programs at Life Pacific.
“The biggest thing that I learned was that even in a place as beautiful as Hawaii there are people whose lives need to be transformed by the gospel,” says sophomore Blake Mulock. “As a business major at LPC, I saw how the skills that I am learning are being put to kingdom work around the globe.”
Lindsay Crumbächer, a junior in the Human Development and Psychology program, put into practice her people-helping skills as the all female team from Life Pacific met the needs of young women at the Naomi Family Residence, part of the Union Gospel Mission in Minnesota. The team ministered at Hope Temple Foursquare Church and partnered with Young Life for a three-day program for teens at Grace Church in Inver Grove Heights.
“Our team leader told me that the Lord often heals our wounds within the same contexts where we were wounded,” Lindsay says. “He heals family wounds by putting us in families, and relational wounds in the context of relationships. That shifted my perspective and opened me up to the healing work God wanted to do in me so that I could be fully surrendered to Him and how He wanted to use me on this trip.”
The Minnesota team, led by Professor Aimee Selby, Emmaus Road Counseling Center Director Gayle Samples, and student leader Paola Montoya, ministered to local women toward mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.
“We equipped the women with self-defense skills, and helped them process through trauma they have experienced with the aid of therapeutic art sessions, grounding and coping skills, processing groups, and biblically-based workshops,” Aimee says.
Nearly 4,000 miles away on the island of Oahu, another Life Pacific team led by Business Administration Program Chair Dr. Kimo (Jim) Walz and Assistant Resident Director, Laurie Walz.
The 10-member team partnered with Surfing The Nations (STN), a Christian humanitarian aid organization that uses a three-pronged Business as Mission (BAM) strategy for community development through the establishment of a local church, a non-profit organization, and for-profit businesses; all elements of the BAM approach to ministry.
Isabella O’Neill, a graduating senior in Business Administration and a recently licensed Foursquare minister commented: “The fact that we did not always know what was coming next throughout the day, helped me to focus on the moment and enjoy ministering to those the Lord brought across my path.”
Team members were stretched as they prayed over people during altar ministry at Surfers’ Church and participated in a prayer walk around Wahiawa during the church’s weekly prayer vigil. They worked with children in an after school tutoring program, assisted a farmer in Wahiawa clear vegetagion on his property, and provided 1,445 boxes of food to feed the homeless, poor, and other segments of the community through food kitchen outreaches and barbecues.
“I loved to see the way that businesses and ministries like Surfing The Nations can impact their communities for Christ,” Blake Murlock says.
Like Blake, Minnesota team leader Paola Montoya witnessed transformation in action.
“This trip will forever have a space in my heart,” Paola says. “It was deep, intimate, and so incredibly healing and restorative. Through self-defence, mental health, and late-night affirmations we grew stronger. As sisters we stood beside one another as we individually reclaimed our narrative.”
Whether on a sunbaked beach in Wahiawa, Oahu or in a woman’s shelter in chilly Minnesota, Life Pacific students actively pursued transformed lives during Spring Break 2019. Each team member personally embraced their relationship with Jesus Christ and helped others understand who God has created them to be.