Four Weeks That Will Change Your LifeBy Jared Hammond ’14 Published: Mar 15, 2013
One-hundred-ten Taylor students spent the month of January in places that include the Czech Republic, Bahamas, Peru, Nepal and Southeast Asia as part of Taylor’s venerable Lighthouse program.
A staple for more than 40 years, Lighthouse has grown exponentially from the first trip – a sojourn to the Bahamas that was organized by the late Taylor Christian Education professor Dr. Ruth Ann Breuninger for senior Christian Education majors. Named for a prominent lighthouse in the Bahamas, the outreach has since sent more than 2,200 students to more than 30 countries during 150 trips.
While some may see it as just a time to get away from Upland many who have been on Lighthouse know that it is more than just an academic credit.
“I have always been a believer in the effectiveness of the Lighthouse experience and it was an honor for me to be asked to lead a trip,” said Tony Manganello ’99 leader of the Southeast Asia team. “I still think Lighthouse trips grant students an incredible opportunity to radically broaden their perspective on life and faith.”
This year Taylor sent teams to the Bahamas, the Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nepal, Peru, and Southeast Asia. Two of the newest trips this year are the Peru and Nepal trips. Both were started through partnerships with organizations run by Taylor Alumni. The Peru team worked with VisionTrust – an outreach launched by Taylor alum Matthew Storer ’91 to work with children in impoverished regions. The Nepal team served with an organization that works to rescue child victims of sex trafficking.
“I was really able to see God’s sovereignty there,” said Stephen Straits ‘14, a member of the Nepal team “Working with the street kids was my favorite part because even though it was really difficult, probably the most difficult part, it was enjoyable to see God work there.”
“I appreciate the challenge to bring new knowledge into my daily thoughts of God, poverty, culture and many other core areas of life,” said Kirsten Sobol ’13 who helped at the Women’s Empowerment Center in Nepal.