The Orange Lutheran community grows every year with an influx of new students and families, and many different aspects of the campus are yet to be revealed to the everyday student. This past year, OLu has made more efforts to unite and share the special impacts that different programs have here, one of them being Missions.
Austin Allen, a member of the Missions program’s staff shares that missions’ heart is to “bring [God’s] kingdom here.” The goal is not to be a clique but to be a community. Missions is a class and has three periods that are filled with students from all walks of life and friend groups. With diversity and hearts who want to know the word of God, Missions allows students to deepen their faith and challenge what they’ve always believed.
Austin also shared that students who want to go on the trips do not have to be in missions, and all are welcome to apply. This is a large misconception about the program, but I am here to debunk the myth for you!
Besides that fun fact, there are a couple of differences in the Missions class setup compared to a standard course. There are study days, community days, prayer days, and activity days. Each day is scheduled and planned out and can either be led by a student or teacher discussing a book read in class.
Each year has a theme that is the focal point for most conversation. This year is Social Justice and Ecological Responsibility, and with that topic, we have read a book called Generous Justice by Timothy Keller. Each Missions class period ties back into our statement of “training global believers in representing Christ to wherever he calls them.” With discussing topics like social justice and responsibility for our surroundings, the staff helps widen the perspectives of OLu students and how they view their environment, as well as helping share the viewpoint of how God sees them.
Austin is one of seven people on the staff of the Missions program who helps run the class and trips. He shares that although this class helps take kids into areas of the world that are new to them, like Romania, help is needed right outside our own door in Orange County. With honest conversation, seeking the truth of God’s heart, and making sure to love their community, Missions class is one of the many lights of Orange Lutheran.
Photo Credits: OLu Missions Instagram