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Evangel students encounter Asia during summer service trip

July 31, 2012 | Valorie Coleman

Jesse Tucker, Evangel University senior, traveled halfway around the globe this summer as part of Asia Encounter. In doing so, he gained realizations about life, people, culture — even himself — that one just doesn’t make in the classroom.

“I definitely experienced a new culture during my two months there,” Tucker says. “From small things, like pillows filled with beads, to big things, like people using sidewalks as restrooms, the differences were all around me.”

The trip was sponsored and organized by the Alliance for Assemblies of God Higher Education, and it was an honor to be chosen. Tucker was one of 25 students from AG schools across the country, and nine from Evangel, who made the cut.

The Alliance invests in students by providing this bi-annual opportunity for an international service trip. According to Dr. David Moore, Alliance vice president for institutional relations, the Assemblies of God leaders want to encourage young people to serve — especially in an environment that may take them out of their comfort zones.

“I am interested in helping students learn how to adapt and serve productively in cross-cultural settings,” Moore says.

While there, the team established English clubs for middle school students, worked in orphanages, met with university students and took advantage of every opportunity to converse with people eager to practice conversational English.

As an English education major, Tucker plans to teach junior high or high school English.

The trip helped expand his vision of working with people from different cultures, whether within the U.S. or abroad.

It also provided an opportunity for introspection.

“I need to really look at what Jesus said and see if my life is matching up. He said to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit those in prison,” says Tucker.

“I think everyone should apply for a service trip like this,” he concluded. “You gain so much from it.”

— Valorie Coleman, assistant director of public relations, Evangel University

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