110 Taylor Students Embark on Lighthouse Trips

By Jon Stroshine Published: Jan 08, 2013

Senior Glenn Skala has been on both sides of the coin when it comes to Lighthouse, Taylor’s January missions program.

As a sophomore and junior, he traveled to Paraguay and Ecuador, doing things like building a kitchen, working at an orphanage, and building relationships with locals.

Now, Skala is a Lighthouse student co-director, and this fall, he helped seven teams of 110 total students prepare for their Lighthouse trips, which began this week.

“I really learned through the class work that missions is not about you, it’s about the people you’re serving,” Skala said. “That should be the ultimate goal and ultimate desire…to serve on missions.”

This year’s Lighthouse lineup includes trips to the Bahamas, Peru, Ghana, Ethiopia, Czech Republic, Nepal, and Southeast Asia.

Students prepared by learning about how their cultures have shaped them, building team unity, creating a spiritual foundation, and learning about their new country’s culture.

Faculty members say the preparation for Lighthouse trips is an example of Taylor’s integration of faith and learning.

“I think good academics informs good ministry,” Director of Lighthouse Jenny Collins said. “The more we know about the social problems and their source, the more we know about their religious system and its framework that the people live under, the more effectively we can tailor our service and our ministry to where the people are.”

Lighthouse team members are journaling their experiences during the trip – a process that will help them process their thoughts. They will also continue meeting as a team during spring semester.

Spring semester’s chapel lineup always features one chapel in which Lighthouse participants share stories from their trips, as well.

“God loves other cultures,” Collins said. “In our becoming more Christ-like, we need to become more like God when it comes to His love for other cultures. We don’t have the luxury of just focusing on our own.”

“I’m just really excited to hear the stories,” Skala said. “Working alongside all the teams this semester, I’m really excited to just see what God does.”

Follow the Lighthouse team blogs at http://tulighthouse.wordpress.com/