Tag Archives: PUC mission trip

A Look at PUC’s Mission Trip to Kenya

This past spring break, March 22 through April 1, a group of 30 students from PUC went to serve in Kenya on a mission trip, along with several faculty and staff. The group helped with the construction of a secondary school for women and painting a new non-denominational Bible training center, along with teaching Vacation Bible School at a primary school and assisting in a nearby health clinic.

“It was a spectacular trip! I’m pleased PUC provides many opportunities for students to travel to distant destinations, learn about diverse environments and cultures, serve developing communities, and share their love of God with others,” says Dr. Floyd Hayes, professor of biology, and one of the faculty who went on the trip.

What made this mission trip particularly unique was students could also receive academic credit for either Field Biology or Vertebrate Biology, taught by Dr. Hayes, as the African environment offered a wealth of learning opportunities of organisms, species, and ecosystems, quite different from what students were used to studying in Northern California.  

Below, Dr. Hayes shares a few highlights of the trip.

It was a grueling overnight journey by plane, with a brief stop in Istanbul, Turkey. However, we were all excited to be traveling to Africa, which would be a new continent for most of the participants.

After arriving in Nairobi, we traveled on paved and unpaved roads for about eight hours to Mara West Camp, which overlooks the world famous Maasai Mara National Reserve, and enjoyed seeing a lot of wildlife along the way. We stayed in comfortable tents surrounded by wildlife and enjoyed tasty meals in a dining room.

On our first day of mission work, we visited a primary school where the Maasai children cheerfully greeted us with songs. The Maasai people were traditionally semi-nomadic cattle herders, but in the past few decades, they have settled into permanent communities and are still building new schools to properly educate their children for life in a modern world.

We brought along with us some books we donated to the sparsely stocked libraries of a primary school and a new secondary school. They need many more books, which we hope to supply more of during future trips.

During the next four days, we assisted in the construction of a building at a secondary school for women that had just opened in January. The new building would include administrative offices, science labs, and a computer lab. We hope to help them stock their new labs with equipment.

We also assisted with the painting of a new non-denominational Bible training center.

A small crew dug a ditch for water lines. I was proud of how hard the students worked each day while working construction and painting.

Each day a small group of students taught Vacation Bible School to a different group of students in the primary school. Students also assisted in a nearby clinic and a few were especially thrilled to help a woman give birth to a new baby. We all enjoyed making new friends with the Maasai people.

Each evening we enjoyed a campfire and an inspirational worship service led by Pastor Vuong Tran.

We spent two full days on a safari in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, observing Africa’s iconic wildlife including elephants, giraffes, zebras, gazelles, rhinos, hippos, hyenas, jackals, crocodiles, and ostriches. The highlights were a cheetah and a leopard, which are difficult to find.

Interested in getting involved with World Missions at PUC? Stop by the chaplain’s office to talk with Fabio Maia, service and missions coordinator, or you can call (707) 965-7190 or email fmaia@puc.edu to learn more.

My Spring Break in Brazil

By Michael Lawrence

For the past five years, Pacific Union College’s Office of Service, Justice, and Missions has sent students to Brazil’s Amazonas to do mission work over the course of their spring break. The trip has since grown and now incorporates students taking Tropical Biology as well as Portuguese for school credit. The purpose of this year’s 10 day trip was to rebuild the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) home in which future student missionaries will stay.

For me, this trip was the lab portion of the Tropical Biology course I took during the previous quarter. My name is Michael Lawrence and I am a third year finance student. Although I was here for a class, the trip was the perfect blend of school, work, and play.

Photo credit: Dr. Floyd Hayes

Photo credit: Dr. Floyd Hayes

Here are some of the highlights of our trip:

Day 2: After a long day of traveling from PUC to Manaus, it was time for the trip to begin. Students were anxious to begin their trip on the Amazon River. What we did not realize was that from Manaus to our final destination was another day of traveling. The day-long boat ride from Manaus to Umari, the village where we held a clinic, was the perfect opportunity for students to bond with one another and get to know people they otherwise would only walk by on campus. I cannot describe the day without mentioning cabin fever. A full day sputtering along on a boat was not the most glamorous of accommodations, however in retrospect, this time spent with the group was key in the building of relationships within the group.

Photo credit: Dr. Floyd Hayes

Photo credit: Dr. Floyd Hayes

Day 3: Our first day on land was spent hosting a clinic put on by a group called Ação dos Estudantes Solidários Adventistas de Manaus (AESAM). The members of AESAM who joined us were medical, dental, and nursing students from various universities in Brazil. The “club” began in 2011 where members would visit villages putting on health clinics like the one held today. Students from PUC had the opportunity to work alongside AESAM in the clinic providing health screenings to members of the village. The club currently has over 80 healthcare students and professionals providing mission work across the Amazon.

Photo credit: Dr. Floyd Hayes

Photo credit: Dr. Floyd Hayes

Day 6: The final day of work was very bittersweet. After three days of back-breaking work, everyone was looking forward to coming home and the relaxation that followed. There were also friendships made at the village, and it was going to be hard to say goodbye. Nonetheless, the time had come for us to begin the long journey home. Over the course of our time at the village Rosa de Saron, we demolished what was left of the old house, dug the foundation for the new home, and just about everything else required in the house building process. Each night, we would participate in the church’s Vacation Bible School. Here, students ran the program from Bible stories to arts and crafts. It was the perfect way to unwind after a long day of hard work and also the time where we connected with the villagers.

Photo credit: Dr. Floyd Hayes

Photo credit: Dr. Floyd Hayes

Day 7: The highlight of the trip in my opinion was witnessing Kelly Siegal give her life to Jesus. Kelly was a PUC student who went on this same trip just one year prior. After her experience on that trip she decided to become a student missionary instead of returning to school for her senior year and has been a part of that village ever since. We all woke up early in the morning and saw Kelly get baptized with the support of the entire village. It was a heartwarming and emotional event and the perfect way to wrap up our time spent at the village.

Photo credit: Dr. Floyd Hayes

Photo credit: Dr. Floyd Hayes

Service and Missions Coordinator Fabio Maia sees the value in creating relationships through mission work. The way Maia operates, he discovers a need somewhere and will continue to return to that location until the need has been fulfilled. The Amazon mission trip has been happening for five years, each year in the same place, and will continue indefinitely. To find out how you can participate in one of the many mission trip opportunities stop by the Office of Service, Justice, and Missions or email worldmissions@puc.edu.

5 Things We’re Looking Forward To In 2015

There are a lot of things we’re looking forward to this year at PUC, but here are a few events in particular we’re really excited about!

Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.

Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.

Tri-Campus Retreat
January 16-19, 2015

Tri-Campus Retreat is an annual tradition where students from PUC, La Sierra University, and Loma Linda University get together for a weekend full of nature and worship at Camp Wawona in Yosemite.

PUC students served in Fiji this past summer.

PUC students served in Fiji this past summer.

Spring Break Mission Trips
March 20-29, 2015

This spring break, PUC students will be serving at health clinics in Nicaragua and Brazil, and volunteering at a Navajo reservation in Arizona. Interested in going on one of these trips, or making a donation towards them? Visit the links below.

Nicaragua – Clínica Verde
Brazil – Amazon River
Arizona – Project Pueblo

Melabi Amponsah shared her message with PUC for Student Week of Prayer 2014.

Melabi Amponsah shared her message with PUC for Student Week of Prayer 2014.

Student Week of Prayer
April 20-24, 2015

Each quarter, students are blessed with a wonderful Week of Prayer with an inspiring guest speaker but for the spring, students hear from their peers about how God has worked in their lives by sharing personal testimonies.

PUC students at the REVO rummage sale last year.

PUC students at the REVO rummage sale last year.

REVO
TBD

Short for revolution, this student-led ministry raises money each year for a specific cause through a variety of events, like a Color Run, fashion show, and rummage sale. Since 2008, PUC has raised close to $50,000 for causes such as Love146, Project Pueblo, ADRA, and the Napa Valley Food Bank.

Natalie Robles is all smiles at graduation.

Natalie Robles is all smiles at graduation.

Graduation
June 12-14, 2015

Of course we’re always sad to see our seniors leave, but we’re excited to see what plans God has in store for each and every one of our graduates!