Students undergo intensive training for International Service Project trips

Published Jan 29, 2018

Riverside — Mobilization at California Baptist University hosted an Intensive Training Weekend from Jan. 26-28 to prepare students for their upcoming International Service Project (ISP).

Groups of students at California Baptist University emerged from the cold, windy and dark evening—with suitcases, backpacks and even their favorite pillow in hand—to a robust Stamps Courtyard around 6 p.m. on Jan. 26. A sign in the courtyard read, “Welcome to Ispland International Airport. When your flight has arrived, please proceed to the appropriate check-in counter.”ISP Sign 2018 at CBU

Stamps Courtyard was transformed into a makeshift international terminal to help stimulate a trip abroad. This summer will mark the 22nd year of global outreach by CBU. Nearly 300 students and team leaders will comprise more than 30 ISP teams.

Jeff Lewis, director of Mobilization at CBU, said for some students, this will be their first trip overseas.

“We want them to be prepared for what life looks like outside of the U.S.,” Lewis said.

For the airport simulation, CBU students had received a letter before the Intensive Training Weekend listing what items would be appropriate to pack for an ISP trip. Multiple individuals, who played the role of airport security, checked students’ bags. Several students were found bringing items in violation of airport security; as a result, they were taken into a classroom for an “interrogation.”

Lewis said the first evening of the training is more about simulation and receiving relevant information on their trip.

The next two days, students traveled to San Diego to work with New Vision Church to gain hands-on ministry experience.

New Vision Church has an urban mission ministry that aims to serve low-income families, at-risk children and youth and marginalized populations, such as the homeless, disabled and refugees.

“We want to get students into an authentic situation and not just simulation,” Lewis said. “Everything we do overseas is to fit into the strategy of the local church or field worker. We want to be a blessing to them. This opportunity with New Vision Church is similar in that we want our students to be flexible and mold to their ministry needs.”

Lewis indicated that working with urban ministries is one of the new strategies for the ISP Intensive Training Weekend.

“I believe that some of the cultural interactions that the students received over the weekend will mirror what they will see in their ISP trips,” Lewis said.