Traveling through Europe, Greece and the Philippines while building relationships and sharing their Christian faith is how 21 University of Mobile students and staff are spending three weeks this summer.
The experience is part of the Baptist-affiliated university’s Youth Hostel Missions, a program started in 2005 by campus minister Neal Ledbetter. The idea behind YHM is to expose students to a post-Christian world view that is increasingly prevalent, to encounter people on a regular basis who have not heard the gospel, and to teach students how to influence that culture with a Biblical Christian world view.
The program has expanded this year to include four student teams: two following the same tradition of previous Youth Hostel Missions trips of backpacking across Europe; one team living in villages in the Philippines and sharing their lives and their faith; and one team following the footsteps of the Apostle Paul in Greece and Turkey.
In total, UMobile students will travel to Greece, Turkey, Holland, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, France and several islands in the Philippines during the trips, which run from May 16 through June 8. Team members are writing about their experiences online at www.youthhostelmissions.com
. The website also includes a training guide and resources for the Youth Hostel Missions program.
“While each trip is distinct, all continue to use the platform of travel and are highly experiential, highly missional and highly educational,” said Ledbetter, director of spiritual life.
Each team member spent 14 weeks during Spring semester in study and training, learning about cultural barriers to communication, post-Christian world views, and what it means to live missionally and in community, among other topics.
The two teams backpacking through Europe are touring major cities and building relationships with other college students from across the world, many of whom are also traveling and staying in youth hostels throughout the region.
“The common bond of being away from home and traveling from city to city regularly opens worlds of conversation with other college-age travelers,” said Ledbetter. “In the process, friendships are built and conversations typically lead to topics of life, purpose and faith. In short, our students live life and learn what it means to have a missional mindset in an increasingly post-Christian world.”
For more information, visit the University of Mobile website at www.umobile.edu
or call Enrollment Services at 251.442.2222 or 800.WIN.RAMS.
Youth Hostel Missions in Greece