Students and faculty prepare to spend summer abroad

By Joshua Michel

It has been 20 years since Kathy Mowry, professor of intercultural studies and Christian education, and her husband Jon were missionaries in Ukraine. This summer, the Mowry’s will return to Kyiv leading a TAG trip, where for two weeks they will work with youth and children’s ministries at a local Nazarene church.

“We are entering the culture as learners. We want to empty of ourselves the way Jesus emptied himself. We aren’t the heroes in this transaction. We want to bond with local people and develop friendship across cultures, working toward the renewal of all creation and be a little taste of the kingdom of God wherever we go,” said Mowry.

Hannah Butler, a sophomore multimedia journalism major, will be boarding the plane to Kyiv in June.

“My hopes for this trip is to not only share the love of Jesus but to grow closer in my relationship with God and the girls on my team. I wouldn’t say that I have any fears. I trust God with everything in me, and we are going there for a reason. This is the mission of God and I cannot wait to see what the Lord will do with us in Kyiv,” said Butler.

Butler is one of 55 Students that will be serving on TAG trips this year.

Ukraine is not the only TAG trip that showcases a homecoming. JP Nyadaro, director of athletic compliance, will be leading a TAG trip to his home country of Kenya. Students will minister in the city of Nairobi alongside Africa Nazarene University.

Apart from the summertime TAG trips, several Trevecca students will be spending their spring break in Puerto Rico or the U.S./Mexico border.

Students going to Puerto Rico will be repairing and rebuilding houses damaged by Hurricane Maria, which hit the country in 2017. Students going to the U.S./Mexico border will be examining the lives of people in the area as well as immigration as it impacts both sides of the border.

Levi Osborne, resident director of male apartments, will be heading up the TAG trip to Kosovo, a country still recovering from war and political unrest.

“The missionaries in Kosovo are doing some incredible work and I’m just really excited to join our students in serving them. My biggest hope for this trip is for our students to get to build relationships with some great people from a different culture. Christ is moving in Kosovo, I pray that our students get to see that and be part of His will at work. Most of the population has lived through a major war, so we will be able to sit down and hear some of their stories,” said Osborne.

Students are currently going through extensive, situational training in preparation for their tasks this summer. Mowry has implemented a focus of real-life, simulation style training for this year. She hopes the presentation of possible scenarios that will prepare the students to be missionaries. This training will aid them should they find themselves in sticky situations in countries like Kosovo.

“Our teams individually meet once a month and do team building exercises as well as information pertaining to our specific locations,” said Butler.

All students going on a TAG trip have a fundraising profile that can be found at

Givecampus.com/schools/treveccanazareneuniversity.

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