Curious about missions at Southern Nazarene University? Missions is a priority at SNU, and every summer, students go around the world to serve and connect with people of different cultures, worldviews and languages.
The SNU website states, “SIMS, which stands for SNU In Missions, forms and trains teams of SNU students, faculty, staff and alumni to go and serve around the world in a variety of contexts and cultures. We desire for each team, as they enter a given country, to have the opportunity to serve together with Christians there, worship together with others, spend time with others, bless others, learn from others, grow in their faith, deepen their knowledge of God and expand their understanding of God’s world and God’s mission in the world”
Each year, applications are sent out, and students who feel led can apply for a SIMS team. They may not always get their top pick of location, but each application is prayed for throughout the entire process, and those in charge of SIMs do their best to serve God from the start to finish with each missions trip from locations, to teams, and work done throughout.
Kaitlyn Metcalfe went on a trip to Germany, and when asked about her experience, she stated, “I was moved by the simple connectedness of humanity in the moments where I found myself playing outside with a refugee child or talking to families who have traveled thousands of miles for safety. Yes, these issues definitely exist in the United States, but my experience in Germany propelled me to finally, truly see my neighbor here and to recognize the simple connectedness of humanity in all places.”
One concern that many students have is not knowing if they will be able to raise enough money for the trip. While the trips do cost money, there are many different fundraising opportunities, and everyone involved in SIMS makes it a priority to help each person raise the required amount.
Fundraising opportunities include sending letters to families, having Chick-fil-A nights or speaking at local churches. Many people have been able to get through the process with the help of their teammates as well. The work to fundraise for the trip is exponentially worth it once SNU students experience their often life-changing mission trip.
When I asked SNU alum, Jayda Babcock, about her SIMS experience she said:
“On my SIMS trip, I went to New Zealand for three weeks. During our trip, we worked at several schools spending time with the students and had the opportunity to really see what these organizations were like first-hand in another country… This really helped me see my passion for teaching and even more specifically that I wanted to teach in a low-income school back home. It was awesome to reflect with my team afterward about these thoughts and the new calling that I felt I had on my life.”
If God is calling you to join a SIMS team, sign up and do not let the fear of the unknown stop you! As Metcalfe and Babcock expressed, going on a mission trip is undoubtedly life-changing. As students are preparing already for their trips this summer, pray and support their journeys.