Assistant Editor and Staff Writer Miranda Bradford
When a break comes around for students, many look forward to the chance to be able to kick off their shoes and chill out on a couch back home, but a handful of students from NGU decided to spend their spring break on a mission trip organized by Taylors First Baptist church to go to Spain instead.
“I wanted to experience a new culture and have the opportunity to share Christ’s love,” said Rachael Cooper, sophomore. “It was a great opportunity to interact with people where I was the minority.”
These students got to work with a missionary family who were primarily working with Moroccan Muslims who had migrated to Madrid. The team’s goal was to help these missionaries establish credibility within the city the family was serving in by holding an English camp for four days for the local kids. Students got to play games with them and teach them new words in English.
“My favorite part was being with the kids. They were crazy and chaotic, but they were so loving and so sweet. There was this one time I just came back, and they all just ran and gave me a big hug. The love they showed and we shared with them was really powerful,” said Cooper. “To have the ability to work with kids who speak a different language and live in a completely different culture and see how they live and what they experience, I loved that.”
The team also went on prayer walks in the local markets, where they handed out tracts and CDs. By doing so, they opened a lot of doors for missionaries since the people in Spain wanted to make sure they could trust these missionaries and needed to see that those missionaries had an interest with their children.
Cooper really enjoyed the ability to go to Spain on this mission trip, however, she wished she knew more of the Spanish language. She felt like the language barrier was the most challenging part of her mission trip because she had to rely on her limited knowledge to communicate with the local people and share about her faith. She also wishes that she had more time than just the week of spring break.
“It’s hard to really build relationships and share your faith with people if you’re only there for a week,” said Cooper. “If I had more time I think it would be interesting to get to know the missionary family we worked with and hear their wisdom and what they learned and how they’ve grown. I think it would have been cool to spend more time with them and to almost have them be like a mentor figure for me.”
Cooper encourages those who are interested in going on a mission trip to go in with an open mind and heart.
“I think it’s not only an opportunity to grow in your relationship with Christ but to grow with the people around you. I think short term mission trips like that make an impact on your life as you make an impact on the lives of others,” said Cooper.