International Summer Projects
Take out that bucket list of yours. Is “lay in front of the Eiffel tower,” “sink my feet into South America’s sandy beaches” or “climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge” on your list? How about “share the message of Christ with the 2.7 billion people who haven’t heard about Him yet”? If so, an International Project just might suit you. Imagine how God can use your summer to bring the Gospel to entire nations…now that’s exciting.
There are over 70 projects that will go international this summer. With the entire globe to explore, these projects are really diverse in location and ministry. However, no matter which project you choose, expect your vision of God’s love to swell. On an international project you will experience God’s devotion to redeeming every tribe, tongue and nation. You will be part of the Great Commission work that is taking place around the world! Here are some of the details.
While you’re in-country, you’ll be living and learning alongside your summer mission project team. The size of your team depends on which project you’re on, but typically anywhere from 10-30 people will be joining you in ministry. Most of them will be other students, just like you, looking to spend their summers serving the Lord on the other side of the big pond. You’ll also have Cru staff members on your team.
Staff will play a crucial role in your international project experience. They’ll arrange a lot of important details for your summer like your flight schedule, housing, and the food you’ll eat while you’re there. Staff will also help you navigate the new culture you’ll be wrapped up in and prepare you for one tremendous summer of ministry.
Training is definitely one of the most rewarding parts of the project experience. Your project staff team will train you in a variety of skills to prepare you for ministry you’ll do this summer and back on your campus in the states. Spiritual mentors and staff will help deepen your walk with the Lord through sharing ministry experiences with you and simply living life alongside you. Also, look forward to spending time with other students on project in small groups, studying God’s Word and exploring His longing for the nations to know Him.
Since you’ll be living in a foreign country and all, it’s important to know American norms are not always so “normal” on the opposite side of the globe. Social interaction can look a lot different over there. Instead of finding this out the awkward people-giving-you-weird-looks way, you’ll spend time on project being trained in how to do ministry in culturally relevant ways. For example: if you go on project in Sweden, training could include basic Swedish language lessons to help you communicate with people living there (and ask if they know how to speak English!). If you choose a project in Ethiopia, you may be trained in knowledge of the Muslim religion to help you understand the country’s beliefs. Delving into cultural training will help you love and minister to the people of your project’s nation. This kind of development will help you build true relationships with them and give them the opportunity to know Jesus Christ.
Like a stateside project, international projects also have what we call a “ministry focus.” Your “focus” is the specific community your project will be reaching out to over the summer. The focus of your project will very much determine your day-to-day schedule. Focuses vary by location but most are centered on continuing the building of campus ministries, bringing the Gospel to unreached villages or serving a community by comforting the sick and loving the lonely.
Okay, are you ready to dig out that passport from your sock drawer? Whether your answer to that was ‘yes’ or ‘not quite,’ keep in mind there are over 70 international projects to serve on. That means there’s a lot more for you to look into that can help you make the decision!
If you know God is calling you to serve on an international project, this will be quite an exciting step of faith for you. If you’re not sure, talk to God about it. Pray He would show you what He wants for your summer this year. Also, talk to a Cru staff member, your pastor, or other spiritual leader in your life and ask them to help you discern God’s will. Until then, learn more about the projects going international this summer by clicking on the “Explore Projects” tab above.