Campus Ministry

Cardiff, Wales March 2006

Spring Break Mission Trip to Cardiff, Wales March 2006

Cardiff, Wales mission team riding a bus to do ministry

Cardiff mission team meeting to de-brief a day of ministry

Our hosts in Cardiff for our mission in Wales were Nigel James and Gary Smith

One of the ways we served in Wales was to clean up a park

Mission team member Elaine Handschu with a Welsh little girl--her new friend

An exhausted Campus Minister Ben Gates is about to be doused by members of the Wales mission team

March of 2006 found us traveling to Cardiff, Wales to work with our good friends, Ignite Ministries.  We were developing a working friendship with these international partners that continues to the present.  It really was a tremendous trip for us that opened many doors for future mission work all over the world.  In the first picture above, you can see many of the members of the Wales mission team traveling by bus to one of our many points of service during the week.  The public bus system was our normal means on transportation on this trip and allowed our students plenty of opportunities to talk with local people and share their faith in casual conversation.  We were so proud of the students as they grew in their courage to initiate conversations with total strangers as the week progressed.  Each night on all of our mission trips, the team gathers to de-brief the day's ministry and what they saw God doing in their midst.  The second photo down shows one of those team meetings--we had a really comfortable lounge area where we were staying for these meetings.  Our dear friends Nigel James and Gary Smith, the founders and directors of Ignite, are pictured in the next image down; they are displaying a bit too much excitement for a present we shared with them for all that they did for us on this trip.  Nigel, on the left, is the man who co-led our India mission team with Campus Minister Ben Gates during the summer of 2008.  Nigel is now no longer with Ignite; he is currently the tour pastor with the Christian band "Third Day."  But he remains a dear friend of our ministry and frequently speaks at our Wednesday night "Conversations" meetings when he is in the States and near Fort Wayne.  While in Wales, we took one afternoon to pick up trash in a local park--an act of kindness in Jesus' Name which also afforded us the opportunity to speak with local residents enjoying the afternoon out of doors.  In the fourth image down, some of our team, while picking up trash with their special tools, are doing their best imitation of the Four Musketeers--"all for one and one for all!"  We always minister to children on our mission trips and this trip was no exception.  In the next image down, team member Elaine Handschu has made friends with a sweet little Welsh girl with whom she is sharing the love of Jesus.  Finally, the last image above shows you the toll that these trips take on Campus Minister Ben Gates.  It was a long day of ministry and apparently he was very tired.  Team member Rachel Utesch Landis is about to take advantage of his exhaustion with a little dousing of her favorite soft drink.  For the record, she didn't actually pour her drink on her fearless leader.  But clearly everyone had fun serving Jesus in Cardiff, Wales in March of 2006!