Going Out Into All the Earth

September 01, 2003 | Tara Jeske

During the 2003-04 school year, Walla Walla College (WWC) will have at least 68 student missionaries in far-flung places like Egypt, Namibia, Papua New Guinea and Thailand. A dozen of these volunteers are graduates. All of them have chosen to give one year of their lives in service.

Julia Gainer heads to Costa Rica for the school year to teach English and give Bible studies at the Adventist University of Central America in Alajuela. She wanted to have a mission experience, be a volunteer and help others. At least five of Julia’s friends have also been student missionaries, some even serving in Costa Rica. “It’s a really awesome experience to help somebody grasp another language and to see it when they really start to figure it out,” she says, “It’s just really rewarding.”

Some student missionaries had to raise more than $4,700 to cover their expenses, insurance and stipends. Some exhausted all their resources, even holding yard sales and bake sales, says Jeanne Vories, WWC student missions director. “I have witnessed some true miracles,” she says, “Some of our students who never dreamed it would be possible have accomplished everything, including fund-raising.”

One worried student with more than $2,000 left to raise couldn’t afford a round-trip ticket. She was on the verge of buying a one-way ticket when a faculty member donated a substantial sum of money to her cause. The teacher only remembered her as a child coming into the teacher’s classroom and drawing on the chalkboard.

These volunteers and their benefactors embody the spiritual mission of WWC by extending the love of God through discipleship, integrity and service.