Earlier this summer, three Evangel University students left the comfortable confines of their homes and set off for Mozambique, Africa, to serve the locals and get a taste of a new culture.
May graduate Tyler Roberts of Yuba City, Calif., and junior Ashtin Flowers of New Palestine, Ind., won their trips in a student social media contest. The two-week trips were paid for by the Assemblies of God World Missions.
Megan Proebsting, a senior, went with the two as a photographer and documented their trip for the rest of Evangel’s student body.
For Flowers, a nonprofit business and social enterprise major, the trip was a dream come true. She said that she had wanted to visit Africa for five years, but the pieces never quite came together.
The trio of Evangel students worked with an AG team in the country, spending much of their time at the Christian university, working with the students and locals. Other days they were able to take service trips to the surrounding areas, visit sick patients in a hospital and even spend some time playing with kids on the beach.
But for Flowers, it was their trip to the bush in Mandlakazi that stands out.
“I really enjoyed being able to visit the bush,” she said. “The community there was so eager to learn more about Christ. They welcomed us with open arms and were incredibly gracious.”
The hospitality of their hosts often came in spite of great poverty. Flowers said that the hardest part of the trip was having to face that level of poverty each day.
“I’ve been to other impoverished countries,” she said, “but Mozambique was the worst I’ve seen. Knowing the injustices people face and not feeling like I was making a difference was very difficult.”
This fall, Flowers will return to campus, where she will continue her studies in business and prepare to work overseas in a long-term setting.
“I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience practical applications for the courses I am studying in my nonprofit business major and cross cultural studies minor,” she said.