A message from Becky...

May Mission Trip was definitely an eye opener. When I arrived at the Campus House in preparation to leave I was anxious because I didn’t know a majority of the people who were going on the trip. I loved being able to get to know each and every person during the whole week. 

God definitely worked through and in me when we visited the Berrytown park. Just playing with these two boys for a couple hours softened my heart, as well as being given the opportunity to pray for the Iraqi community and all the families.

This trip has strengthened my relationship with God. I was going through a lot before we left for this trip, and I felt so much peace during this whole week. 

The 17 people who I spent this week with have become a big MMT family and I will forever cherish the moments I had on this trip, and I want to thank each and every person for making this trip one to remember and I can’t wait to hopefully come back next year and do it all over again!

A message from Angie...

image

On Wednesday we put on a barbecue within the Iraqi neighborhood. Although we were unsure how many people were going to come out the outcome proved that prayers moved mountains. It was amazing to see God answer our prayers for community right then and there by bringing moms, boys, girls, teenagers. We all slowly dispersed into different groups and it was clear that whether it was playing basketball with teenage boys, talking with moms, playing with babies or doing the lemonade handshake with seconds graders we all worked to build relationships which is the foundation for sharing His word. One of the things I’ve learned most through this trip is that although we can consistently share His love, His word makes the biggest impact once those foundations are fostered with people. I just have seen God persistently encouraging us within this trip and it’s been a beautiful sight to see. 

A message from Savanna...

image
image

Being the last day of our work here in Louisville, there comes a lot of cool experiences but bittersweet feelings. Today specifically, we had the opportunity to go to a mosque and sit in on a service. Being able to observe and experience someone else’s religion right in the thick of it was amazing! The mosque was beautiful, and the best part was after the service where we got to speak with Muslim women and pry their brains about any questions we had, which they graciously answered and were so so kind. What was especially awesome was that we saw a little girl who we had previously met and connected with earlier on the trip here, Sidra, which made the experience ten times sweeter! With that being said, to reflect on this mission trip, I can say it was truly indescribable. This is my very first mission trip, so I didn’t know what to expect; all that I knew was that I was beyond excited do God’s work. Not only have I had the opportunity to do that, but I have grown so much in my ability to create relationships, in my caring for others, in digging deeper to help others, even though it may make you uncomfortable, and most importantly in my faith. Whether it was tough neighborhoods where crime and drug rates were high, or a community where it was difficult for us to communicate due to language barriers, God was so present through out all of it. We felt his love in every place we visited. What stuck out to me was that while we were there to spread his love, I was constantly overwhelmed the entire week by how much the refugees and the others we encountered were so open and loving to us back. They truly changed my life as much as were we’re changing theirs.

image

To add on to that, this trip wouldn’t be as impactful as it was had it not been for the encouragement and dedication of our team. Each and every person pushed themselves, whether that be praying aloud during the prayer walks or walking up to strangers and striking up a conversation. Our team stayed faithful and were made even stronger through their intentionality, positivity, and support. I know that through the experiences and relationships created with my team and the Muslim community, I will forever be changed and Louisville, Kentucky will always have a place in my heart.

A message from Ross...

I could only describe today as bittersweet. The awe inspiring, life changing experience I had this week will forever live on in my heart. We are examples of how God truly uses even the lowliest of people to do his work. The impact we made in the communities of a city we are strangers in proves how our God breaks down walls with his reckless love for any and all who live in this crazy place we call our home.

image
image

If I learned anything from this trip it is that God has many faces. He showed himself through Todd whose fiery passion for the refugee community encouraged us to feel the same. God showed himself through Niamala and Mamtu who, even though come from across the globe, love Christ with all their hearts and were so willing to share their stories and pray with us. I know this group of students will always cherish the work they did here. I know I will, but it doesn’t end here. The work of our God never stops.

A message from Nicole...

Through all my personal worries, doubts and fears I decided to come on MMT and I’m so thankful I did! I am walking away a changed person who has grown so much in just 5 days. God has been present since day one on this trip and my heart is overflowing.

image


The first day we interacted with people in the Louisville community where connections and relationships were made. That continued to spur on for the rest of the week where God was evident in all the conversations we had! On Wednesday I got to go back to the the part of Louisville where I made such amazing connections. That day God transformed my life. I was able to sit down for two hours and talk with a girl named Nora who was raised Muslim. We started with talking about nursing school which is both of our majors, to sharing our testimonies, then talking about Christianity, and she also allowed me to pray for her. I also got to bond with a sweet little 4 year old girl named Skylar and her mother Renee. One of the others girls on the trip and I immediately were drawn to this family and just felt the need to get to know and pray for them. It turns out that this little girl is currently growing up without her dad due to substance abuse. The girl and I who felt that connection with this little girl also had a dad who struggles with substance abuse. Truly all of this is just scratching the surface with what God has been doing on this trip.

image


I also had the opportunity to make amazing connections with my team members! These connections have opened my eyes to just how important it is to love one another and to be grateful for what I have! There are so many people hurting and struggling in the world and we have the capacity to change that with the Word of God and our love and kindness! I’m already currently planning another trip back down to Louisville because my heart has been impacted that much because of this trip.

A message from Robbie...

image

Coming into this mission trip I honestly had no idea what to expect and what I was hoping to gain from the trip. When people asked me what we’d be doing on this, I couldn’t answer fully because frankly all I knew was we’d be involved with refugees of the islamic culture. As this trip comes closer to an end, I truly would have never expected what came along. A large portion of this trip was relational based rather than labor oriented. There were countless opportunities given to us where we were blessed to serve others, pray over individuals and their families and exposed to cultures outside of our own. This exposure has really made me grown in my own faith. I have never taken time to go on a simple prayer walk before and especially go up to people and strike up conversations and ask to pray over them and anything they’d like us too. Apart from some fantastic conversations from the prayer walks, we met some amazing Muslim families that were more than willing to talk with us about their own faith and culture, and let us interact with their kids! I personally had an opportunity to pour into a christian mother and her family. They were a low income family with traits of alcoholism with the father who is currently in jail; she’s raising her two children by herself. Despite the many hardships she has faced and will continue to face, her faith was so strong. She praises God for all of the blessings she has received and it truly touched me. To see somebody who has nothing, yet is one of the sweetest, kindest and most loving women I’ve ever met is astonishing and is a perfect reminder of how good God is and the true love and compassion true followers of jesus possess. Overall, this trip has affected me in such a positive and impactful way. It has opened my eyes to many things I’ve been blind to before, and cannot be more thankful for all the memories and friendships I’ve made and ultimately I’ve grown in my own faith.

A message from Natalie...

image

This is my first mission trip so I came in being excited but not knowing exactly what to expect. So far, it has been more amazing than I ever expected! Today, we went to a Somalian mall to look around and then went to a low income housing community to do prayer walks. I had never done a prayer walk before yesterday and my group yesterday did not end up getting to talk to anyone. Today, my group was lucky enough to find someone who was willing to talk to us early into our walk. We ended up talking to him the whole time we were there. This man asked us to pray for him to be able to see his daughter again as he had just gotten drug tests results earlier in the day confirming that he was 2 weeks clean. He was very open about all of the mistakes he has made and his drug addiction. This man was a Christian and talked about it was a blessed day for him and how encouraged he was by us. He explained how when he gets his daughter back he wants to move away from where he lives now because it isn’t safe to raise a kid there and he also wants his daughter to be raised going to church. He also told us he once died and had to be revived and that he knew it was because of God that he was given that second chance. This man’s enthusiasm about where his life was going and the way he recognized it all as a blessing from God was amazing to see. This man never had all the opportunities and luxuries that so many of us were blessed with but he still has faith in the Lord and His plan. I feel that God was working in this man’s life today and I learned a lot about having faith in God’s plan from meeting him.

A message from Allison

image
image

When I told some friends that I’d be spending my 21st birthday on a mission trip to Kentucky they gave me some questionable looks. Sweating in floor length skirts on prayer walks and being drawn on with chalk by kids isn’t exactly what most people would want to spend that day doing, but I was overjoyed and excited to get to be on this trip.

I went on Winter Mission Trip with Encounter back in January and before that week was even over I knew I wanted to go on MMT as well! Serving God and giving back to communities outside of my own is something that I’ve found brings me so much joy. I’m surrounded by a team of friends who have made me feel loved and cared about all day and getting to do my little part of work for God’s kingdom has been the perfect way to spend my birthday this year!

A message from Andrew...

image

Today walls were broken in several ways. One example of this is the many friendly conversations we had with the vendors at an International mall in Louisville. Another example is when two Muslim men from Sudan met with our team and answered our questions about the similarities and differences between Islam and Christianity. These interactions showed me how easy it is for people from completely different worlds to converse with one another in a friendly manner, even when discussing separate faiths.

Later in the day, we went to some poverty stricken apartments, or projects, to go on a prayer walk and break more walls, including those unrelated to religious differences.

The example of this that stuck out to me the most was my group’s interaction with a man named Steve. Through talking to Steve, we found out that he was a convicted felon and has been addicted to several drugs. A consequence of this was losing custody of his three children. His sharing of these personal details of his life with a few strangers is further evidence that people want to share with others. The true God moment that happened in this interaction was when he told us that earlier in the day he received papers letting him know he passed the first out of three drug tests that will determine the future allowance of seeing his children. He told us that he felt so blessed when he found out he passed and that that blessing was continuing into our reaching out to him. After that, he let us pray over him with joy. God was there in that moment, in other interactions of the day, and there is no doubt in my mind that he will continue to be there with us as we get to know and pray over members of this community.

More pics from day 2!

We spent day 2 with refugees from Iraq. We put on a cookout, played games with the kids, and talked with the Iraqi mom’s in the neighborhood!

image
image
image
image
image

Pics from day 2

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

A message from Sam...

As I prepared to go on my first ever prayer walk today, I was very skeptical. I have never engaged in any sort of activity like this & am rather new to the idea of praying aloud. When we began our walk, we were having trouble finding people to talk to; our goal was to talk to the Iraqi residents in the area and invite them to a neighborhood cookout. In a final attempt to connect with people we tried knocking on doors. While we did have some families say they would come, we had absolutely no idea what we were in for. We had an overwhelming amount of people come to our cookout & it was such a God moment. It was so amazing to interact with the Iraqi residents. Often times our society has such an ignorant attitude towards those of Islamic religion, but it was very enlightening to understand them, their viewpoints, and hear what they had to say. I am so glad for this experience and I can’t wait for what the week & God has in store.


image

A message from Sydney...

Yesterday on our way down to Louisville, Kentucky we stopped for lunch at Wendy’s. Before we left, a group of girls went to get in line for the restroom before we hit the road again. While waiting in line a woman in front of me asked me why there were so many of us at Wendys. I told her that we were from a campus ministry called Encounter and that we were on our way down to Kentucky for a mission trip. She then told me that she was pastor’s wife and that yesterday was her first day speaking in front of a congregation. While we were walking out she stopped me while we were on our way to the car and told me that she would pray for us while we were on this trip.

Before going on this trip I was unsure what to expect and was questioning if I should even be going on this trip because I felt so new in my faith and that I did not know enough to be going on it. I have also been struggling with my outreach skills. But I decided to apply anyway and see if I got accepted and I in fact did!

After meeting and talking to this woman It showed me that the Lord really wants me on this trip and that this trip is going to be a really important and life changing trip for me.

image

A message from Ana...

My name is Ana. I am a junior at ISU and have been attending encounter since my freshman year. I had the privilege of going on this mission trip last year, where I learned to trust God with our schedule and let him lead us where God’s light was needed. I also grew in my ability to pray out loud and meet new people. Having the opportunity to come back has brought back so many memories. Today during our prayer walk I saw a Muslim refugee that I met last year, and it’s only day 2. I was so happy and thrilled to have seen her and so was she. We took many pictures so that we both can cherish this sweet reunion and moment. I cannot wait to see what new and old faces God has planned for us to meet and love on during our time in Kentucky. And I am soo grateful for the opportunity to come back and continue to spread God’s love to the Muslim refugees.

image

T - 4 Days!

image

T-4 days until our May Mission Trip team leaves! Be praying as our students wrap up the semester then head straight out to love whoever crosses their place in Louisville, KY!