In January, Biola University’s Student Missionary Union (SMU) sent out six teams to minister to people around the world.

Each of these teams consisted of three to eight students in addition to one or two student leaders. For several months, the teams prepared themselves by building community as a team, learning about the country they would be in and researching different ways to minister to the people there.

South Africa
This all-girls team headed to an area just outside of Cape Town and worked work with Bridges of Hope. By coordinating camps for children, the trip was geared to spread the gospel and strengthen the children's relationships with Christ.

El Salvador
Leaders Brendon Anthony and Megan Vesevick both traveled to El Salvador on the January 2012 SMU trip and felt a desire to lead a team back to the country this year.

“Megan and I decided to go back to El Salvador because our hearts fell in love with the people there, and felt a strong importance to continually pour into one area where we can carry on and further develop these relationships,” said Anthony.

This trip consisted of four men and four women who led a surf ministry with Christian Surfers International in La Libertad outside of San Salvador. Through hosting surf camps for children as a vacation Bible school, the team desired to help children fall in love with a healthy lifestyle while they shared the gospel with them.

Partnering with an organization called Truthseekers International, Team India traveled through towns and villages including Gwalior, Nagpur and New Delhi. Spending approximately five days in each area, the team took part in footwashing rallies, serving the Dalits or untouchable caste, and sharing the gospel with them.

“We are longing to see Jesus worshiped in India and we want that to be our only motivation for going,” said Torrey Allen, one of Team India's co-leaders prior to the trip.

Costa Rica
Team Costa Rica consisted of three men and six women, who teamed up with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Guanacaste near the city of Nicoya, to do children’s ministry, distribute Bibles with a local youth group, and help to train them in outreach. The team also helped a local missionary with a newly planted church, and worked on rebuilding a house destroyed in a recent earthquake.

A team of five men headed to Chiang Mai, Thailand to minister to those involved in sex trafficking. The team worked with a church planting group called E3 Partners Ministry.

“Our team will primarily be focusing upon addressing the major issue of human trafficking and our hope is that we will be able to spread the gospel and restore the value of God's people,” said Isaac Pajo, the team leader before heading off to do just that.

The team worked with a local church with the goal of strengthening and serving it while sharing the gospel.

“More than anything we want to share the love of Christ with those people, let them know that
they're the prized possession of the God who created everything!” said Pajo.

Team Kenya consisted of four guys and three girls, and they traveled to an area near Nairobi. The team worked with By Grace Children’s Home on a variety of projects, including a vacation Bible school, helping with homework, and simply pouring love into the children there. They also helped with the construction of a chapel for the school.

Additionally, the team performed street evangelism, and visited members of the community who are living with AIDS.

Written by Bethany Wilson, Media Relations Intern. For more information, contact Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Coordinator, at 562.777.4061 or