Auburn Restructures Mission Program
Auburn Adventist Academy has a long tradition of involving students and faculty in mission service abroad. In recent years, as many as 70–100 participants have joined mission trip ventures to the Philippines, Peru, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Honduras, Ecuador, Fiji and other locales.
With mission trip groups of this size, it is difficult to find service locations that can accommodate this many volunteers. Academy administration recently decided to restructure its mission trip program.
"Mission trips not only benefit the community where our volunteers serve, but also benefit students," says John Freedman, Washington Conference president and AAA board chair. "We know mission trips are important in the spiritual development of young people."
With the new mission trip program, mission trips abroad and home-based service projects will be offered in alternating years. Each group will have a maximum of 40-42 participants, including young people and adult sponsors. Junior and senior students will receive first priority. In addition, to gain eligibility to participate, students will need to accumulate community service hours.
The goal, says Samir Berbawy, AAA principal, is to "broaden opportunities" for students to be involved in service at home and abroad. School leaders want to see students involved in a variety of mission trips and seek to develop partnerships with established mission trip providers.