Latte Stones. Geckos. SPAM. Stray dogs. Red smiles.
If you’ve ever been to the islands of Micronesia, these words might carry some significance. For the eight APU students who traveled to Guam and Yap on a short-term missions trip from July 25 to August 15 this summer, these words help tell a story of love, community, service, and cross-cultural exploration.
As a Collaborative Arts Ministry, these talented students used their gifts in theater, music, and art to emphasize God as the ultimate Creator and how our creativity mirrors Him.
Through an original, fine-arts based, vacation Bible school (VBS) program called “Imagination,” children on the islands of Guam and Yap learned not only about who God is, but that their own stories are important to Him. It was a curriculum built around grace, faith, and above all else, hope. As the theme song of the week taught, “Express. Create. Your story is yours to make!”
The team from APU not only took their passion, talent, and enthusiasm with them to the islands, they also delivered 250 leather-bound bibles. “Being that almost everything on these islands is imported, I assumed that it was the same for Bibles,” reported Team Leader Creighton Dent ’06, “which not only makes Bibles an expensive commodity, but a rare one.”
The team continued to hand out bibles outside of the VBS programs. While on Guam and Yap, APU students visited prisons, renovated a typhoon-stricken hospital, lead church services, and even shared the Gospel with their fellow passengers aboard flights in between their island travels. “When a Guamanian woman was brought to tears by the much needed Bibles I was able to give her, I had a clearer glimpse of heaven,” said Jessica Cane ’06.
Guam’s slogan is “Where America’s day begins,” though most American mainlanders struggle to even find Guam on a map. “We have been told that just our presence here indicates that someone cares and thinks about Guam, and it has blessed them and given them hope. I think that is very important; important and wonderful,” explained Team Leader Lindsay Eller ’06.
And as these eight APU students left for home three and a half weeks later, they sang that classic tune made famous by Tony Bennett, with one small revision:
“I left my heart in Micronesia.”
Posted: October 10, 2005