During Christmas break, 14 students and faculty from Grace Christian University had an opportunity to visit Dublin, Ireland to learn more about the city’s history, culture, and heritage. Ben Stout, a junior who participated in the trip, said “The purpose of this trip was to meet people that God is working through, not only in our country but those in other places.”
“The Dublin Experience,” as Dr. Scott Shaw and Dr. Mark Carroll titled the trip, included some sight-seeing and educational experiences, but focused on homeless outreach and ministry. Light House Mission exists to serve Dublin’s homeless and drug-addicted populations. The facility serves 80 to 120 people on the evenings when it’s open, and has also become a haven for some of the many migrant workers who struggle on Dublin’s streets. At the Light House, people experience the love of God in practical ways that nurture their whole being.
Professors and students who participated in The Dublin Experience shared their personal experiences and ways that God transformed and worked in their lives at a recent morning chapel. Speaking to students and staff on campus, members of the group spoke about ways they saw God at work through their ministry and how they can apply this experience to their lives at Grace Christian University. Kyle Vegh, a senior, said this mission trip opened his eyes and brought him to a realization that this type of ministry can be done inside our community and in our own back yards. He also shared how God worked through him during the challenging and difficult times on the trip, stating that he was given strength to do what God wanted him to do during this experience.
Dr. Shaw says that, through this trip, “students learned more about God’s work in Ireland, as well as a deeper appreciation for the work being done in Dublin and gleaned a deeper appreciation of the history of Christianity in Ireland, and how Protestantism and Catholicism today shape and impact the modern Gospel message.”
Students and professors who participated in the trip this year strongly recommend that students and prospective students consider participating in The Dublin Experience next year if they have an interest in Ireland and its history, as well as a passion for serving and engaging in short-term overseas ministry. The next trip is tentatively scheduled near the end of the Fall 2015 semester.