Yage Wang — Staff Writer
On November 22, a group of Dordt students set off for a two-day’s off-campus activity in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is not the first time that Dordt offered opportunities for students to dive into diverse cultures, to collect practical communication experiences, and to build up community relationships. During this short training period, Engage Global encourages the students to consider their lives from a more spiritual perspective and examine how a Christian’s individual story fits into God’s story.
Engage Global is a nonprofit organization for missionary pursuits. Its mission is to assist and equip people who are interested in missionary works. During the two-days’ training, students were exposed to unfamiliar cultural situations like local markets and simulation games to accommodate and to learn cultural differences. Many students learned the significance of missionary work, while also expanding their cultural experience.
James Ryan, a senior Marketing major student, only went to Engage Global because he was looking for a chance to grow in faith.
“I went from not wanting to be a missionary to wanting become a missionary,” Ryan said. “So now I’m gonna try a training to see if God wants me to become a missionary.”
Other than significantly changing attitudes towards missionary works, some students reexamine their lives in United States after coming back from Engage Global. Jacquelyn Geels, a junior Education major student, went for Engage Global twice, leading the trip the second time. Geels was deeply touched by a documentary she watched for the training that revealed the unequal treatment of people from different religions and cultures.
“After I watched the documentary (I had questions like) why I was born into this family that I have the opportunity to come to Dordt and to know the gospels. I feel I just take it for granted my whole life. And it’s like, what I’m gonna do with it,” Geels says, “because now that I know that there are people who don’t have access to it.”
After coming back from Engage Global, Geels shared her experiences to more people.
“At first I didn’t know that being a missionary can have more roles to play besides someone just going far away,” she said. “And now I see that there are many stuffs that I can be doing at Dorst on campus. Some of them are so simple that you don’t necessary think about it having gone to Engage Global, now I see the world through new lens.”
Michael Buma, a senior Engineering major student who has also been to Engage Global twice, believes that this small trip is a great opportunity for students to get informed of different cultures, not only about missionary works.
“Engage Global sparks a lot of interests on a lot different areas. It doesn’t change world view but it can add perspectives, different perspectives at least,” Buma said. “Engage Global is not solely focused on getting people in mission field. But rather, it focuses on being faithful to God with where we’re at. And engaging in the nations in different ways, whether that will be in our local churches, our community, our school, or wherever God might have us.”