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SPRINTing Around the Globe

Peter Lim, Coordinator for Global Involvement at SPUIf your student has traveled with SPRINT (Seattle Pacific Reachout International), you know the trip was led by a student. But did you ever wonder who advises those student leaders, prays for their trips, and makes sure that everyone is prepared before take-off?

Meet Peter Lim, the coordinator for global involvement in SPU’s John Perkins Center. Lim has been involved in cross-cultural missions for more than 27 years; he is in his second year of serving Seattle Pacific University.

This past summer, SPRINT sent teams to Cameroon, China, the Dominican Republic, India, Indonesia, and the Ukraine. We sat down with Lim to find out his vision for SPRINT and how it helps SPU students engage in reconciliation.

This year, the only new trip was to Cameroon. Why does SPRINT return to the same countries each year?

We like to build a sustainable relationship and trust with the host. We try to make sure that the hosts will help the students have a good experience and engage in reconciliation.

What is the benefit of going on a SPRINT trip?
SPRINT provides service and learning opportunities overseas. Students develop a global view of Christianity and see how God is at work with other peoples, cultures, and traditions.

What do you hope happens when students go on SPRINT trips?

Our goal is to train students to be global citizens whether they ultimately work here for a place like Microsoft or Boeing, or are missionaries overseas.

Why do we have SPRINT, when lots of churches have mission programs? Well, SPRINT was ahead of the church when it started in the ‘60s, and now churches have caught up. We want to make this different. We want students to see how they can contribute to the future. We want students to ask, “How can I apply my skill that I learn in the classroom to the advancement of the gospel.”

How does this connect to SPU’s goal of reconciliation?
One specific example is the India trip where students serve people of the Dalit caste. The Dalits have been marginalized and oppressed with no dignity. The educational experience allows students to see that these things are happening and put a face to it.

In this day, you can watch a war on TV while eating ice cream. You can see starving children on “American Idol Gives Back.” We can become numb. It’s entertaining, and we miss the point. These trips will raise a list of questions about reconciliation, redistribution, and relocation Not all the answers.

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