George Fox sends team back to Swaziland for month of service

Swaziland team
Members of this year's May Serve team gather prior to leaving for Swaziland this month
May Serve team 2011
Smiles (and free rides) made for a memorable visit to Swaziland in 2010

A team of 17 George Fox University students and staff will return to Swaziland in May to work with Adventures in Missions (AIM) Ministries, an outreach dedicated to serving the poor around the world. This is the second trip to the African country in three years: the university sent a team to the country in 2010.

The team will serve abroad from May 7 to June 1 as part of the university’s annual May Serve program. While there, the group will partner with 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 Swaziland 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 Swaziland,” MacLeod said.

MacLeod added that, currently, Swaziland nationals and missionaries are ministering through their medical clinic, soccer ministry and educational resources, helping to meet basic needs. “(AIM) believes that by giving people the opportunity to hold orphans, bring hope to the hopeless, and pray for the sick, lives are transformed,” she said.

Now in its 23rd 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, Peru, Thailand, Ukraine, Brazil, India, Cuba, Jamaica, Romania and the Philippines.

Students are selected through an application process, and each traveler 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.

This is the first of two trips scheduled this spring. In June, George Fox is sending a team of 15 students to Romania and Moldova to work with the ministry Word Made Flesh. The group will volunteer alongside WMF missionaries with at-risk Romanian and Moldovan children in various after-school/summer camp opportunities.

“That team will participate in the life of the WMF missionaries in daily worship and routine work tasks,” MacLeod said. “They will develop an awareness and compassionate heart for the children of Romania and Moldova that face severe threats of trafficking, abandonment, drug abuse and exploitation.”

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.”