SEU Students Give Back Over Spring Break
Amidst the global pandemic, the missions department at Southeastern University, SEU Missions, has had to be more flexible than ever before. While students typically lead mission trips internationally, this year they have learned to see the value and significance of local and domestic missions. In addition, they have been inspired to put a greater focus on giving globally.
“Because of COVID-19, our students have learned to be prepared for sudden changes and cancellations and to just be available to go wherever they can,” said SEU Missions director Ezra Nehemiah. “Our students have responded so well! They want to serve this nation at any capacity, so even though things don’t look exactly like they thought they would, they still continue to move forward.”
During the first week of March, 2021, more than 130 SEU students (making up a total of 50 teams) dedicated their spring break to serving numerous cities across the U.S. Teams worked with a variety of establishments, such as growing church plants with the Church Multiplication Network, Youth With A Mission (YWAM) bases and Dream Centers. In serving these organizations, students did everything from service projects to direct ministry. They volunteered in food banks, packaged and distributed essential care items for local families, aided in leading church services and prayer nights, and renovated church buildings.
The SEU missions department also accounted for each team’s safety by practicing health and safety precautions before and during the trips. Every student attending a trip was tested for COVID-19 72 hours prior to departure. During the trip, students engaged in daily temperature and symptom monitoring, as well as consistently wearing their masks and social distancing. Students were equipped with COVID kits and preparedness plans to account for all possibilities.
“What’s been great about having only domestic trips is we’ve been able to give even more money to foreign missions, as the trips themselves are not as expensive,” said Nehemiah.
The SEU Missions department divided the entire globe into 25 regions and assigned every region a sponsor of two teams each. Individual teams were then responsible for fundraising $5,000, an amount that was built in or included within their original mission trip budget. This will allow each region to receive $10,000, adding up to a global total of $250,000. The teams are well on their way to accomplishing this goal by the summer — they have already sent $148,000 overseas.
Nehemiah said, “We have been able to give the most we ever have as a missions department.”
Nehemiah gave the students a chance to research and establish their own relationships with missionaries and churches in need so they could determine who the donations went to overseas. In addition, students could choose existing connections the missions department had already established.
Some recipients included the persecuted, underground churches in Afghanistan and Central Asia, a church in Lebanon decimated by the explosion in Beirut, and a medical boat ministry that distributes medical supplies in Congo.
“It has been very challenging this year as we navigate the pandemic, but it’s really given us the chance to help lead America to encounter God and truly see who He is,” said Nehemiah.