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A ship set to sail

Lighthouse teams to be commissioned

By Chin Yi Oh | Echo

On Dec. 10, all five Lighthouse teams will be commissioned to serve in Czech Republic, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Spain and Southeast Asia (SEA) in January.

“Just as a brand new ship is ready to set sail, it is commissioned, so are those who are going abroad to serve in ministry,” Katie Rousopoulos, director of Local and Global Outreach said.

According to Rousopoulos, the commissioning service is a launching point for the five teams to be sent around the world to serve. It is a chance to remind those going abroad of those who are staying behind to send them off. It is an event to learn about what the teams will be doing, to celebrate with them and encourage them through prayer.

It is also an opportunity for past year teammates to share specific prayer requests and stories, because they know firsthand the importance of having a support team back home.

“The hope (of the commissioning service) is that all of the Lighthouse participants would know that their home base, Taylor, is in support of them and will be praying for them as well as the differing people they will interact with while they are in-country,” Lighthouse co-director and senior Cara Walker said. “I believe this prayer support can be a powerful influence on all of the Lighthouse participants and for our Taylor community.”

Lighthouse embodies Taylor’s philosophy of integrating faith and learning. The goals for students are to understand other cultures, to develop interpersonally, to engage in service outreach and evaluate through reflection. 

The Lighthouse J-term teams will be commissioned to go overseas by their peers next Sunday. (Photograph by Hannah Bolds)

The Lighthouse J-term teams will be commissioned to go overseas by their peers next Sunday. (Photograph by Hannah Bolds)

The program has enabled students to gain unforgettable and life-changing experiences while learning and serving culturally around the world. The program also serves to share God’s love to those being served and a deeper understanding of faith for those who serve.

“In my own experiences, my previous Lighthouse trip (to Greece) contributed greatly to my spiritual development because it prompted me to engage with difficult concepts and critically think about who I believe God to be,” Walker said. “I am very thankful to have been challenged in these ways. I hope that current Lighthouse participants are also challenged and stretched so that they may experience Christ in new ways.”

Eighty-one participants, with students ranging from sophomores to seniors, and faculty members will serve with Lighthouse this January throughout the world.

To junior Meghan Freer, who has been thinking of joining a Lighthouse trip since her freshman year, it’s exciting to partner with CRU in Ecuador, where they will travel to different universities and talk to college students about what they believe.

“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to share the gospel in another country and to be surrounded by Spanish-speaking people, to have that travel abroad experience with other Taylor students and be able to share those memories together,” Freer said.

For Rousopoulos, those not going on a Lighthouse trip should attend the service because as an institution that is sending teams, the Taylor community is reminded we all play a part in short-term missions. The service is impactful for people with different roles, mainly the senders, who support the teams financially and prayerfully, those on the trips, and the hosts who will partner with the teams in those countries.

The Lighthouse commissioning service will take place on Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Alspaugh room.

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