By Rebekah Otey
While some were still enjoying winter break, seven students and two leaders traveled to Braunschweig, Germany, Jan. 4-14 on a Global Opportunities trip.
Karen Taylor, associate director of student leadership and engagement, said she believes there is a great need for Christ in that part of the world.
“The German culture is often described as being very cold,” Taylor said. “But as you meet individual people you find them very friendly.”
Atheism is growing in Germany, and many are lost spiritually, said Abbey Orr, sophomore education major.
A typical day included going to three university campuses: Technische, Universitat and Braunschweig, to interact with students. During mornings, teams handed out flyers and conducted surveys.
“The flyers stated the events and schedule for the week and invited the students to join us,” Orr said, adding that the surveys asked five different questions and that the purpose was to bring up their views of God and Christianity.
At night, Union students hosted several different outreach events, such as bowling and Bible study discussion groups, in hopes that students they had met would attend.
“They are very open, and it was easy for me to jump right into conversations about their beliefs,” Orr said.
Although the trip was rewarding, some challenges, both spiritual and physical, emerged.
“I had to give each day to God and pray that He would give me the peace to handle every situation,” Orr said.
Everyone on the team stayed in a different host home, and each person was responsible for navigating public transportation — a challenge because they had to adjust to the language and get around in an unfamiliar culture.
“Also, in talking with students who went on this trip, I think they saw God help them overcome huge fears and obstacles that they had going into the trip,” Taylor said. “It really stretched them, and they got to see God work in very tangible ways.”