Multiple students and staff from Concordia University, Nebraska, traveled internationally this past summer on mission and study trips.
Julie Johnston Hermann, director of global opportunities, and Kristen Nugent, assistant professor of education led a group of nine students on a week-long mission trip in May in Amatitlan, Guatemala, at the Holy Cross Lutheran Mission. The group taught Bible story lessons, games and music to students at an elementary school. They also visited a vocational high school for girls hoping to become secretaries and helped the students practice their English. Those students included Cassie Boeka, Rachel Duhachek, Rosa Gonzales, Anna Holle, Sarah Huhn, Julia O’Laughlin, Madison Pitsch, Kimberly Sleeper, and Angela Steinbacher.
“Building relationships with the kids was the best part,” student Madison Pitsch said. Angie Steinbacher, a 2017 graduate from St. Charles, Missouri, commented, “a truly beautiful part of the experience was being welcomed into the children’s homes. In exchange for welcoming us, we presented each family with a small tree. We traveled to just over 20 homes to plant trees.”
Dr. Vicki Anderson, associate professor of education, and nine students spent five weeks teaching in two English as a second language summer camps for students at Buena Vista Concordia International School in Shenzhen, China. The first camp, “Camp Imagination Station” featured art, dance, robotics and science and had 45 students attend. The second camp, “Crazy about Science!” featured science, robotics, sports and arts and crafts and had 95 students attend. The students included David Epperson, Britnee Fear, Madalynn Fousek, Jadyn High, Jacy Johnston, Sarah Krause, Susie Moll, Zachary Moll and Andrea Wiese.
Another four students, Clyde Ericson, Spencer Owen, Tiffany Smith and Krista Stanford traveled to Jacmel, Haiti with Ministry in Mission to help with feeding programs around the city. The team also painted houses, taught ESL, and got to participate in Flag Day.
Additional Concordia undergraduate students traveling abroad include: Courtney Jurgens, junior, studied heath based Spanish and alternative health approaches in Costa Rica. Michaela Strathman, junior, took a Spanish and healthcare course in physical therapy in San Jose, Costa Rica. Gabriel Poling, sophomore, studied conservational biology and shark behavior in Fiji. David Geidel, junior, went to Hong Kong to transport Bibles across the Chinese and Vietnamese borders. Jan Steinbrueck, senior, to Trivandrum and Nagercoil, India where she participated in music ministries at churches, youth camps, and Bethania Kids girls’ orphanage. Melonie Kotschwar, senior, served as an intern at Migrants Organise, a non-profit organization that helps refugees and immigrants get housing, clothing, food, and healthcare in London. Chelsea Irwin, junior, and Daniel Spaulding, junior, served as counselors for a children’s camp in Wisła, Poland. Finally, Mary Carnoali, senior, studied in Spain.
“Anybody can get involved in these experiences,” Julie Johnston Hermann says. “All one needs is a heart to travel and learn about life. God uses all gifts, whether you’re an accounting major, education major, art major, or science major.”
Concordia University, Nebraska students participating in global outreach summer 2017 (listed by country visited, home state and then home city in alphabetical order):
Andrea Wiese, Ashland, Neb.
Britnee Fear, Hershey, Neb.
David Geidel, Hesston, Kan.
Jadyn High, Lincoln, Neb.
David Epperson, Panora, Iowa
Sarah Krause, Seward, Neb.
Susie Moll, Seward, Neb.
Zachary Moll, Seward, Neb.
Madalynn Fousek, Waco, Neb.
Jacy Johnston, Westmoreland, Kan.
Courtney Jurgens, Pickrell, Neb.
Michaela Strathman, Randolph, Neb.
Melonie Kotschwar, Seward, Neb.
Gabriel Poling, Chillicothe, Mo.
Madison Pitsch, Concordia, Mo.
Rachel Duhachek, Lincoln, Neb.
Cassie Boeka, North Platte, Neb.
Kimberly Sleeper, Omaha, Neb.
Rosa Gonzales, Schuyler, Neb.
Angela Steinbacher, St. Charles, Mo.
Anna Holle, Stewartstown, Pa.
Sarah Huhn, Valley Center, Calif.
Julia O’Laughlin, Winona, Minn.
Tiffany Smith, Earlham, Iowa
Krista Stanford, Jefferson City, Mo.
Spencer Owen, North Miami, Fla.
Clyde Ericson, Seward, Neb.
Jan Steinbrueck, St. Louis, Mo.
Daniel Spaulding, Armada, Mich.
Chelsea Irwin, Lincoln, Neb.
Mary Carnoali, Hampton, Neb.