By James Stafford, director of Marketing & Public Relations at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
BELTON—In May, students from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (UMHB) College of Christian Studies led worship and served during a special trip to the Cayman Islands.
“I learned so much about the Lord and what He can do through just a short 10 days,” Cory Jo Martin, one of the students on the trip, said. “I grew in relationships with my classmates that will continue to encourage me in my faith.”
Ten students and two faculty sponsors from the UMHB College of Christian Studies traveled to the Cayman Islands to preach, serve and lead worship in seven different local churches.
“I loved getting to know the congregation and its leaders, and getting to love and be loved by them,” Kaitlyn Anderson, another student, said. “I have a lot to learn about the culture and the people living in it, but I felt such a connection to the churches.”
Dr. Bill Carrell was one of two faculty sponsors on the trip. One of the aspects of the experience that he found most encouraging was witnessing the interaction between students and the local preachers.
“It was clear that these pastors and their spouses were encouraged by the attention and enthusiasm of our students,” Carrell said. “These faithful pastors serve small churches in a beautiful but isolated and sometimes lonely place.”
The students were divided into five teams and sent to churches for Sunday morning and Wednesday evening services.
“It was great to see how everyone on our team grew in confidence as the week went on,” Jacob Chesser said. “[We] could all tell that our presence on the island made a big impact.”
Along with serving in churches, the UMHB students had the opportunity to minister in area schools.
“Since the Caymans are a British territory, Christian ministers have greater access to schools than in the United States,” Carrell said. “Our students led assemblies in the schools with Christian songs, testimonies and Bible stories.”
Before students had returned home, organizers were already planning future journeys.
“This trip changed my life. I met strangers who turned out to be [like] my family, and I learned so much more about myself,” Rozzell Barber-Harris said. “[I] committed myself to full-time ministry because the people who were strangers to me made me feel like I had something to share.”