A record 71 Westmont students on a dozen teams will spend at least four weeks this summer serving communities around the world, including Bolivia, China, Guatemala, Nepal, Uganda, Spain, Japan, Israel and Indonesia. The student-led, staff-directed Emmaus Road program is in its 14th year, sponsoring activities that serve to increase awareness of global concerns, broadening the worldview of students and promoting the value of diversity.
This number of students surpasses the 51 who took part in international service projects in the summer of 1990.
“Whether it’s supporting medical efforts in Bolivia or using art as a medium to share their faith, it’s distinctly valuable for every student to see how their careers and passions integrate with their Christian faith,” says Jeremy Fletcher, coordinator of student ministries and missions. “They gain a broader, global perspective by living in a cross-cultural setting.”
In Cochabamba, Bolivia (June 10-July 10 and July 11-Aug. 11), students will serve Hospitals of Hope, improving the healthcare of the under-served. They will also visit orphanages and homeless children and support local churches.
Students will travel to Qingdao, China (June 25-July 25), and volunteer at the International Care Community and care for children with mental and physical disabilities. In a nation with restricted access, students will teach English and assist with an art and music rehabilitation program.
In Guatemala City, Guatemala (June 10-Aug. 2), students will work and live alongside local staff and missionaries at Casa Bernabé, caring for 160 children rescued from abandonment, trafficking and other horrific situations. Volunteers will also serve in a school and vocational training center.
For the second year, students will travel to Katmandu, Nepal (June 16-July 15 and July 16-Aug. 15), volunteering at Transformations Nepal, which assists the underserved. Students will teach English, basic computer skills, sewing and gardening.
Students in Lugazi, Uganda (July 16-Aug. 16), will serve at Faith Children’s Home and God’s House of Miracles helping vulnerable children and widows. They’ll also be involved in outreach projects in hospitals, prisons and schools, teach AIDS and HIV awareness and work to renovate Faith Children’s Home.
Along the Mediterranean coast of Spain (July 1-30), students will serve alongside the Edge Project Mission in Altea-Alicante, living out their faith in the area of the arts, culture and community.
In Japan (May 10-June 9 and June 14-July 13), students will serve with Christian Relief, Assistance, Support and Hope (CRASH), a network supporting disaster relief work. CRASH Japan will equip and prepare the team to help local ministries in the event of a disaster similar to last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.
Emmaus Road students in Jerusalem (June 17-Aug. 1) will partner with Musalaha, promoting reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians as well as among different segments of Israeli and Palestinian societies.
In Indonesia (June 20-July 21), students live and work with local families, serving the community in meaningful and helpful ways as directed by leaders.
Emmaus Road is just one program that encourages Westmont students to take part in cross-cultural service to help them understand the impact of world events and cultures. Ruth Kerr, Westmont’s principal founder, envisioned a school that would prepare students to live out their faith in a variety of careers worldwide. This year, Westmont celebrates its 75th anniversary and honors her legacy and vision.
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