Greenville, S.C. (July 26, 2013) – Twelve Bob Jones University students participated in an eight week missions trip to Africa May 8 – July 7. Dr. Dan Olinger, team leader and a member of BJU’s Bible faculty, coordinated work in four locations—Ghana, Tanzania, Cameroon, and South Africa—in ministries as diverse as children’s Bible clubs, preaching, teaching, singing, tutoring, and engaging in medical work. A medical subteam worked in Cameroon while a group of education majors tutored at an orphanage in Mwanza, Tanzania.
The team worked with missionaries in some locations and with no cultural bridge in others, developing relationships with African nationals and learning cross-cultural communication and ministry methods from them.
Abbie Rysta, an Early Childhood Education major from Goose Creek, S.C., observed, “From the beginning God gave us the strength to persevere with the cultural differences and language barriers. The exciting thing for me was to see the little ways that God had prepared me for this teaching opportunity. Being able to take those experiences and use what I learned was such a big blessing. I thank God for the wisdom, joy, and grace to keep going even when I was drained physically and mentally.”
“Life in the States is unlike life anywhere else,” Dr. Olinger said. “And most American young people are isolated from the rest of the world by two oceans, a language barrier, and significant cultural differences. I love giving these students a chance to learn the good ways that other cultures do things and the wisdom the African believers bring to living for Christ in those other cultures.”