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Eight 2019 Western Michigan Christian School Seniors Head to Rwanda for a Mission Trip

It’s Powerful to See God at Work in a Different Country & Culture

It is very powerful to see God at work in a different country and a different culture. He works in ways that are unfamiliar to American students and it is surprising and sometimes even uncomfortable.

But at the end of the day, He is the same God to all. Faithful, loving and present! 

This unique realization is exactly what the WMC Senior Service Project is about. Students go alongside ministries in a sustainable way. It’s more about learning and less about doing. It is more about allowing God’s world to change you and less about changing the world.

On May 9, eight WMC seniors set out for Kigali, Rwanda to listen, learn, love and serve. The trip did not start there. God was at work in the hearts and minds of these students months before, and for some, all their lives.

The decision to serve in Rwanda came to students right away because each student had always wanted to serve on the mission field in some way.

Girls in headgear carrying water

Sydney Holtvluwer smiles as she carries water back from the pump during the African Transformation Network “Day in the Life” experience.

Sydney Holtvluwer was the first to sign up in the summer of 2018 when she toured WMC as in incoming senior transferring from Traverse City Christian.

Kaitlynn Summerfield knew in her heart that since the age of 3 she wanted to be a missionary like her grandparents.

Sarah Moorhead wanted to bring the love of Jesus to others and knew this would give her a chance to do that.

Jada Love also had a heart for missions and wanted to see and experience what Christ was doing in Rwanda.

Liz Vos loves working with children and has a heart for special education and wanted to work and serve with children in Rwanda.

Shangfei, Sam, Wang, an international student from China, knew that China has significant investment in African countries and was interested in seeing that firsthand and experiencing a different culture.

Reading books to students at Kigali International Community School (KICS).

Hayden Hubers reading books to students at Kigali International Community School (KICS).

Hayden Hubers signed up early and knew he wanted to share the love of Christ in Rwanda but had to back out when it looked like it would not work to go. And after all was said and done, things worked out for Hayden to come.

Tyler Somers indicated an interest but wrestled with commitments to other activities that he would need to say “no” to in order to go. God laid it on Tyler’s heart to come. 

And after raising, by the grace of God and the generosity of many, more than $9000 through fundraisers and letter writing, we were off…But not before Kaitlynn won a car at the Ride With Pride event at WMC while we were getting ready to board our plane! What a fun send off!

Everything the students did in-country supported existing work and ministry. The money spent went directly to help those involved in the ministry or those benefiting from the work.

What does it look like to go alongside ministries and help in a sustainable way?

  • It is spending time with The Light Church helping with their Saturday Kids’ Club ministering to kids from neighboring villages. This included us acting out Bible parables, helping with activities and praising/worshipping with them. 
Dancing with children at Light Church Kids' Club.

Dancing with children at Light Church Kids’ Club.

  • It is taking part in a Bible study and working alongside the women of DuHope making bracelets. 
  • It is learning about the Sowers of Hope ministry, its Agrifaith work and praying with farmers for all that is being done to share the gospel and farm in the community. 
Praying for the African Transformation Network ministry after working in the "Day in the Life" experience.

Praying for the African Transformation Network ministry after working in the “Day in the Life” experience.

  • It is spending time at African Transformation Network for their “Day in the Life” experience that included walking a mile for water, milking a cow, cutting grass, grinding flour, and weaving a rug. Knowing what is going on inside a clay hut village gives you a different perspective when you see people living that life. It is not wrong, or sad, it is different. 
Milking a cow at ATN.

Kaitlynn Summerfield milking a cow at ATN.

  • It is taking a cooking class at the Women’s Center and learning how to cook from a woman who was a Congolese refugee and is now earning a living wage teaching cooking classes.
Cooking class at the Nyamirambo Women's Center.

Cooking class at the Nyamirambo Women’s Center.

  • It is helping at a KICS Mission School leading Bible lessons, activities, games, crafts and reading to children.
Playing Simon Says with students at KICS.

Playing Simon Says with students at KICS.

  • It is going on safari and seeing God’s creation like never before. At a zoo, the animals are captive. On safari, the visitors are captive as they
    Elephant seen on safari at Akagera National Park.

    Elephant seen on safari at Akagera National Park.

    drive around. It is simply amazing to see wildlife in their natural habitat up close. 

It is learning, listening and loving in a country where God is at work through churches, NGO’s, schools, and ministries.

Sydney, Kaitlynn, Sarah, Jada, Liz, Sam, Hayden, and Tyler were immersed in Rwandan culture and saw first-hand the work God is doing. And they joined that work. They not only gave of their time by working, but they also contributed funds to sustain the work being done.

And they continued the work that WMC began a year ago with the Driesenga family. That work will be continued by the Driesenga’s as they begin their hospitality house ministry hosting groups like the WMC Senior Service Project to go alongside, participate in God’s work and have their hearts and minds changed in the process.

About WMC

Western Michigan Christian (WMC) is a middle school and high school located in Norton Shores, Michigan. Each day we are looking for new and better ways to integrate the Christian faith into every aspect of our school. At every level and in each area, your children will be challenged academically and encouraged spiritually to fulfill their God-given purpose. At Western Michigan Christian it is our mission is to educate with excellence, integrate faith with knowledge, equip students to work and serve Christ in their communities.

WMC is part of West Michigan Christian Schools  (WMCS), a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region, including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian (PK-6) and New Era Christian (PK-8). The WMCS system works under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality PK-12 Christian Education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs.

If you and your children are not already a part of the WMCS family, please prayerfully consider the PK-12 private Christian education of West Michigan Christian Schools for your children!

CONTACT US today for more information!