TEENS GROW FROM GLOBAL MISSIONS EXPERIENCE
Every four years, Sycamore View's 9th-12th graders have the opportunity to attend HUT (Harding University Tahkodah) in Arkansas for their Global Missions Experience. HUT prepares students to minister to people living in poverty worldwide through various missional simulations on the campgrounds. University students planning to go on a missions trip have the opportunity to spend several weeks at HUT to prepare culturally, physically, and spiritually for their trip. This past August our high school students spent a weekend walking through all of the international simulations, eating authentic African cuisine, working with simple machines to earn a day’s wage, interacting with the HUT actors, and sleeping a chilly night in one of the international homesteads.
Each campsite represented a different country. In Haiti, we found a shack with a dirt floor. In rural America, a small cabin with mattresses on the floor was surrounded outside by a plethora of household items no longer in use. In China, two stilt houses overlooked the river. These were possibly the nicest looking dwellings, but the stilt houses provided very little protection from the severe chill that occurred that evening. Africa had round, mud huts, and the Central American home was built of bricks. Each place had it’s own value, but none had the comfortable accommodations to which the majority of our students are accustomed.
Each student was put in a position to be uncomfortable. We were separated into random groupings, treated unfairly in the simulated customs line, and underpaid for manual labor. The HUT actors surprised us with the birth of a water balloon “baby”, who was either sick or dead, but cost a lot of money. Later, we were thrown into culture shock at the village market because the HUT actors, posed as impoverished citizens and local authorities, attempted to steal what little money we had.
Each student walked away from the HUT Experience with a better understanding of third-world living situations, but they also realized that mission opportunities are far greater than a vacation; instead, they are service and sacrifice partnered with love and community.
Sycamore View Youth Minister
Posted on Thursday, October 9, 2014
by Fawn Bauer