May Serve trip takes students to Peru to assist earthquake victims

May Serve team 2011
Members of this year's May Serve team gather prior to leaving for Peru this month
May Serve team 2011
Smiles (and free rides) made for a memorable visit to Swaziland last spring

A team of 19 George Fox University students and staff will travel to Peru in May to assist families still recovering from the 2007 earthquake that forced many from their homes.

The team will visit the South American country from May 7 to June 1 as part of the university’s annual May Serve program. While there, the group will partner with Adventures in Missions (AIM), an interdenominational missions organization that focuses on discipleship. AIM plans, organizes and leads short-term mission trips with the goal of mobilizing people into life-long discipleship and long-term missions.

The George Fox visitors will partner with missionaries and Peru nationals to assist with various projects, according to Andrea Macleod, the university’s director of outreach and service.

“We will work in conjunction with AIM to find the best fit for our team and ways that we can be a support and encouragement to those daily ministering and living in Peru,” MacLeod said. “As relationships are built and felt needs met, there are opportunities for sharing the gospel and personal faith stories.”

The students will primarily minister to families who were affected by the earthquake in August 2007. In wake of the disaster, many families relocated to land outside of Chincha along the coast called Doce de Septiembre (the 12th of December). The team will focus on humanitarian care, Bible studies, discipleship training, teaching classes on hygiene or basic health care and English classes. Students also will have opportunities to engage in youth and sports ministries.

Now in its 22nd year, the George Fox May Serve program allows students to spend a month in volunteer service in cross-cultural settings. Previous May Serve trips have gone to Swaziland, Thailand, Ukraine, Brazil, India, Cuba, Jamaica, Romania and the Philippines.

Students are selected through an application process. Each student pays his or her own way. Part of the fundraising includes garage sales, auctions, raffles, car washes and charity dinners. To learn more about the program or donate to this year’s trip, contact MacLeod at 503-554-2323.

George Fox also sponsors weeklong service trips during Christmas break and spring break.

MacLeod says she is always amazed by what transpires on each trip. “Most of the students have no idea how the trip will impact them,” she said. “Time and time again, we are blown away by how the Lord moves and works among and through our students.”