The OTE summer program is almost over! Last week, every student had the opportunity to partake in a mission trip, whether here in Murrieta, or in Bakersfield, CA., St. George, UT., or Ensenada, Mexico.
The students and staff members that stayed in Murrieta participated in a Vacation Bible School held by one of the churches that meets on our campus, Cross Culture Ministries. Over 100 kids, ages 4-11, were registered, and with the help of 50+ staff members, both from OTE and CCM, VBS was a success! First-time student McKenzie said, “VBS taught me a lot about love. These kids, they might not get a lot of love at home, so it was so important that we love them as God does. The more we loved them, the more they enjoyed being at VBS.”
Twenty-three people went to St. George, UT. to help serve with Calvary Chapel St. George. The group was able to visit Colorado City, AZ., a town that’s made up of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and evangelize to the polygamist community. Along with evangelism, the staff and students were able to do landscaping around the church, and participate in a VBS of their own. Trip leader, and OTE videographer, Ben said, “I was amazed at how the Spirit moved during our trip. Being able to lead a trip, instead of being behind the camera, was a great experience. It was awesome being able to be really hands-on with the students, and to come together as one, unified by Christ.”
The twenty students and staff that went to Bakersfield, CA. teamed up to come alongside previous OTE staff members to serve the community through a VBS and multiple outreaches. One of the events they put on was a laser tag night, held right in the church. 70 middle and high school students came out to participate. “Bakersfield was great,” said OTE student, Eric. “It was my first mission trip ever, and it was really cool to see the kids at VBS want to know Jesus more. I’m glad I went.”
In Ensenada, Mexico, thirty-three OTE members ministered to different migrant camps and neighborhoods. Migrant camps are small groups of people and families that have made their homes near their place of work, typically found on farmland. Counselor Jay said, “This was my first time going to Mexico, and I can truly say I want to go back next summer. I have been completely humbled by the poverty and living conditions there, but even more so by the joy these people seem to have. The kids there, they don’t know anything different, so just spending time with them, playing soccer or even coloring, meant more than we ever thought it could. It was a tough week, but it was needed.”