On Monday Nov. 16 at 5:30 p.m., a group of 24 Covenant students interested in a future doing international ministry investigated mission opportunities by attending a missions event led by Scott White, Director of Global Connections at International Teams Missions Agency.
Scott White began the event by sharing the vision of International Teams and communicating his organization's desire to connect college students with ministries around the world that will allow them to use their majors and utilize their skills. “Deciding what is next after graduation is a tough decision. Working cross-culturally among the oppressed for a couple of years can be an incredible way to gain clarity about your future as you discover what gives you great fulfillment in the midst of great needs,” said White.
The twenty-four students in attendance listened as Scott presented ITeam’s three-pronged mission to provide “food, freedom and forgiveness” to poor and oppressed communities all around the world.
In International Teams’ “food, freedom, and forgiveness” motto, “food” encompasses not only food, but also any physical need such as water, healthcare and shelter. “Freedom” includes liberation from slavery, financial need, any other types of oppression. “Forgiveness” represents evangelism and the spread of the gospel
International Teams touches many places on the globe ranging from Nicaragua, to California, to Greece, to Uganda, and to Japan. Wherever they are planted, they are committed to providing access to food, freedom and forgiveness for all members of the community.
White explained how Iteams’ ministry is comprehensive in nature and meets the needs of suffering people both physically and spiritually. He illustrated how God can use every major as an integral part of the threefold food, freedom, and forgiveness mission in a community.
Through International Teams, there are opportunities including teaching art classes, English classes, small business development, IT development, theological education, and much more. To meet the need of these opportunities, White said, “International Teams needs Christians who are willing to serve from a variety of different disciplines.”
Two students at the event served with ITeams last summer. One of them, Daniel Pelts, shared his experience in South Africa with the group. Pelts was there doing research for the ITeams’ South African team of East London with fellow Covenant student Nathan Walker. Pelts recounted his experience as challenging, eye opening and completely worthwhile. He encouraged the group of students to consider serving overseas and discussed how he thoroughly enjoyed working with the ITeams leaders in South Africa.
Pelts and Walker’s ITeams internship was in conjunction with the Community Development department, and as Community Development majors, they were required to complete a 12-week cross-cultural research internship. ITeams and the Community development department are like-minded in several ways and that is why their partnership is able to flourish.
Currently, numerous Community Development students are working with ITeams mobilizers for these research internships for summer 2016. Some of these internships will be international and others will take place domestically in places like Chicago, IL and Fresno, California. However, as Scott consistently emphasized, ITeams needs Christian workers from all different types of disciplines, not just Community Development.
At the close of the event, , students were shown a short documentary of the work International Teams is doing around the world. The documentary gave a great snapshot of International Teams’ ministry and provided inspirational testimonies from people who have been helped by the ministry of ITeams.
White left Covenant students with the 2020 vision of ITeams. “Our goal is that by the year 2020, 100 hundred communities around the world willhave access to food, freedom and forgiveness.” He admitted that this is a high goal, but with the help of Covenant students and alumni joining their forces, it just might be attainable.
When asked how he felt about the success of the event, White said, “I was thrilled to see so many students from so many disciplines seeking to discover how they can make an impact in God’s work and around the world.”