HU People Truly Impacting the World for Christ

Members of the HU women's volleyball team in Ethiopia.

Members of the HU women’s volleyball team in Ethiopia.

Heather Barkley, HU Director of Communications

In the summer of 2013, Huntington University faculty, staff, and students took the institutional mission to “impact the world” literally as they traveled nearly 30,000 miles round trip to serve on three continents. The mileage they logged surpassed the circumference of the Earth – 24,901 miles.

The Huntington University volleyball team learned the value of working and serving together through a summer mission trip to Ethiopia.

Coach Amy Settle (left) and player Kelsey Kruse.

Coach Amy Settle (left) and player Kelsey Kruse.

“I definitely think there is a higher level of team chemistry and a stronger bond between all of us as teammates and friends,” said sophomore Kelsey Kruse who traveled with the team to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city. “I believe that the stronger the relationships within a team are, the more successful that team will be, and I have seen that translate onto the court.”

The team worked with more than 1000 orphans and vulnerable children in three schools through Buckner International, a global ministry.

“We learned about the depth of brokenness and poverty in the world, what resources are needed to impact this reality, and the joy that is possible through Christ amid the darkness,” said second-year coach Amy Settle.

She plans to bring other teams to Ethiopia in the future in the hopes of building a school.

During the summer of 2013, Huntington University faculty returned to China to lead a team of 15 persons, who then trained 80 Chinese teachers and hosted English camps for 200 students. HU has been doing this since 2007, and has trained hundreds of teachers in China’s schools.

This year, for the first time, the English camps included high schoolers in addition to primary and middle-school students.

“These experiences help better equip us for life in the global world in which we live, and they promote awareness and a value of diversity,” said Shoshannah McKinney (right), associate director of the Institute for TESOL Studies.

McKinney, a 2003 HU graduate with a degree in Math Education, lived in China for four years, where she taught English at Liaocheng University. She and TESOL director Dr. Luke Fetters led the 2013 HU trip.

Team members stayed with Chinese families in Doumen, a district in the coastal city of Zhuhai near Hong Kong and Macau.

Greece and Turkey
Dr. Mark Fairchild (right) has made countless trips to Turkey, including two this summer. His first trip involved leading a tour of Greece and Turkey for the Biblical Archaeology Society and then conducting research about the Apostle Paul’s missionary journeys.

At the invitation of the Turkish government, Fairchild, Luke J. Peters professor of biblical studies at HU, made a second visit to Turkey this summer, serving as a consultant to the committee writing curriculum for a Christianity course to be taught in public schools.

He led a team, including other HU faculty, in the planning and execution of a workshop that certified 37 Turkish Christians to teach the course. Huntington is currently the only institution granted permission to certify Turkish Christians for this teaching opportunity.

“For the first time in almost 600 years, Christians will have the opportunity to tell the Gospel story and correct the many distortions of Christianity that are often propagated throughout the Islamic world,” Fairchild said. “This development has the potential to create better understandings between Muslims and Christians.”

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