Eight Teams Travel With SPRINT This Summer, Gaining a Heart for Ministry
THIS SUMMER, EIGHT student teams from Seattle Pacific University are in South Africa, Mexico, Ireland, China, Ecuador, Honduras, Thailand and the Dominican Republic as part of SPRINT (Seattle Pacific Reach Out International).
SPRINT teams will participate in a variety of ministries and educational experiences. For example, the team in Thailand will work as interns in the International Justice Mission, which calls for freedom of oppressed people, including children sold into slavery and prostitution. The team in Honduras will deliver medical assistance at rural clinics, and the team in Ireland will counsel youth at a summer camp. Other projects include teaching English, assisting missionaries and street evangelism.
What students learn in these countries, such as greater compassion for the poor, may be even more valuable than what they can accomplish there in a few weeks. "This is definitely hands-on education," says SPRINT's Budget and Travel Manager Bob Zurinsky '02. "Students get to encounter the suffering of the world in a way they can't on campus."
Although most SPRINT teams travel internationally, some visit U.S. cities. Zurinsky was part of a Spring 1999 team that traveled to Washington, D.C., where they visited shelters and work programs for the homeless. They learned about causes and frustrations of homelessness and served in soup kitchens.
Not everyone who joins SPRINT expects to make a global impact. That's not even the point, says Zurinsky. "Students won't ultimately change the place where they go just for a few weeks, but hopefully the place will make a difference in the students. They'll be inspired to engage in a lifetime of ministry." A number of students, he explains, return from their SPRINT mission wanting to enter full-time work in missions or social services.
"The cross-cultural experience is designed to work with an SPU education," concludes Zurinsky, "giving students a vision for ministry and the tools they need to engage in it."
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