The Master’s College has always had a large global impact. Since 1998, they have sent out more than 1700 students on Global Outreach (GO) teams to countries around the world. It is a branch of the school that many students are familiar with, either through personal involvement or support of their peers.
Another branch of TMC that students customarily hear about is the opportunity to study abroad. Programs such as the Israel-Bible Extension (IBEX) and American-Bavarian Exchange Program (AMBEX) are often mentioned in chapel or heard in lectures while attending classes.
Sabrina Michael is just one of many students who have experienced a study abroad program and then participated in a GO team. Although the two international trips may initially have different purposes, there is a connection that can’t be denied.
Michael attended AMBEX in the fall of 2014, and spent three months studying and traveling around Europe. Her journey included seven different countries and the chance to see the world from a new perspective. As a part of the AMBEX program, she served with Lifestream Church, located in Regensburg, Germany. In addition to serving on Sundays, leading Bible studies and helping lead congregational worship, the AMBEX group had the chance to spend time evangelizing to students at the local university campus.
“It was really amazing seeing how the body of Christ isn’t defined by language, cultural barriers, who you are or where you come from or your social status. Christ isn’t bound by that. He surpasses all of that. Being able to see that in an experiential setting was amazing,” Michael said.
Near the end of her semester, Michael was asked if she would consider being a part of a GO trip. Finances were a cause for concern — after spending three months traveling, money was not something she had in abundance. But despite her worry, the funds were supplied, along with enormous support and encouragement from her peers and family. For four weeks this summer, she will be traveling once again to London to host a theatre day camp and soccer games for the local Muslim-Pakistani community.
Michael believes that her time spent studying abroad was influential in her decision to participate in missions through TMC.
“It made me realize that there are so many people that don’t know Christ, who are lost. In the Great Commission, we are called to go. We are called to share the gospel and love other people passionately, like Christ loves us,” Michael said. “It gave me a heart and a motivation to really love people — not just people who speak my language, but in all different cultural contexts.”
Rachael LaCom was also a member of Michael’s AMBEX group. In addition, LaCom attended IBEX in fall of 2013. She has been to a total of ten countries in the last two years, including Israel, Germany, England, Spain and Italy.
LaCom grew to love not only the opportunity to travel, but also the people she met along the way. She was affected by the spiritual darkness that permeated the cultures she visited and learned about. The lack of strong churches opened her eyes to the deprivation of truth in many countries around the world.
LaCom will be traveling to three additional countries (Kosovo, Croatia and Albania) as part of a GO trip with TMC’s Chorale choir group this summer. For two weeks, they will be ministering to the people through music performances and investing in local believers.
In addition, LaCom has been accepted as a GO team leader for the next school year. She believes her the desire for missions originated with her time abroad.
“Studying abroad definitely changed the way I think about missions and other countries and taking the gospel there because I got to see the necessity firsthand,” LaCom said. “It has shown me that there is a need and it gives me that desire to try to be involved and do something about that. Being a part of a missions trip is very practical way of doing that.”
Both Michael and LaCom advocate participating in a study abroad program while in college. The Master’s College offers AMBEX and IBEX, as well as resources for various programs through other colleges.
“If anyone has the opportunity to go and study abroad, they need to do it. Whether its IBEX or AMBEX or through another school. Because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Michael said. “In college, you’re not tied down to jobs or marriage, or a lot of the responsibilities that will come after college. It’s your time to be independent and figure out how to be in the world. There’s a bigger world out there, and it doesn’t all revolve around you.”
By Desi Buchanan