Mission X 2012: More Than an Experience: A Lifestyle
Steinbach Bible College students recently completed a month of service and mission in various locations around the world. Mission Exposure, a four week module featured each January and referred to as MissionX by our students, is a highlight of the SBC experience.
Over 40 first year students spent four days serving in inner-city Winnipeg, working in partnership with several mission organizations. Student Brandon Quiring says: "Mission X in Winnipeg was an amazing and unforgettable experience. Whether working in the kitchen or sleeping on the floor or trying to manage a bunch of wild kids, I strongly felt the presence of the Holy Spirit working in every one of us. After getting to know the kids' lifestyle and hanging out with them, I began feeling a deeper love for them. After Mission X, I felt God calling me to continue maintaining the friendships I started with these kids. Through Mission X, I was able to discover my passion and calling, which is to work with the poor. To me, Mission X is more than just an experience, it is a lifestyle."
Thirty-six students travelled north to serve in 10 different First Nation communities. This time of stretching significantly impacts our students as they learn to trust the Lord. Student Jeff Schalla says, "God opened the doors to 15 classrooms in the community, and we were able to share the love of Jesus with them and present many stories that proclaimed Christian truth. There seems to be a clear window of opportunity for the Christian community to make a difference in the North through the kids. Yes, it is true that there are discouraging things that happen in the North, but there is more than a ray of hope breaking through the clouds. In His perfect timing, God continues to raise up people who are willing to invest in a mission field that is anything but glamorous. Let us continue to pray that the darkness will lift over Manitoba's north."
Two groups of third year students left Canada for three weeks: one group of eight travelling to Paraguay with Professor Dr. Ernie Koop, and the other group of eight travelling to Belize under the guidance of Professor Gord Penner and his wife, Laura. Students were billeted with host families, experiencing the culture of the country while ministering alongside missionaries and local churches in the communities. Students visiting both countries tell of remarkably generous hospitality and the impact this had on them personally: "What made the trip significant was not what we gave the people, but what the people gave us. We were welcomed as family and treated with a generosity rather foreign to us, even with our hospitable Mennonite backgrounds. Our hosts gave of everything they had to make sure our stay was comfortable, even if it used their last dollar."
Lana Nesby, who travelled to Belize, says "I will never be the same. By allowing ourselves to take the opportunity given us to immerse ourselves in the culture and lives of the people we were with, we learned much, and we loved much. We were affirmed that we share the same faith, and many times challenged by their dedication and boldness."
Through Mission X, many students confirm or discover a passion for ministry. Sarah Barkman says "I want to live a lifestyle of ministry and being in Paraguay for three weeks only solidified that desire."
We praise God for His faithful provision for our students and faculty as they travelled. We thank Him that our students can integrate what they are learning at a practical level even as they continue in their studies.