Global Engagement Series: Fatima Pulido and Jonathon Krohn’s Experience in Ensenada

Fatima Pulido, ’24, and Jonathon Krohn, ’26, felt called to serve in Ensenada, Mexico, along with 45 other Azusa Pacific University students, across five days over their Thanksgiving break.

Pulido and Krohn had close ties to Ensenada going into the trip because of their families. “Something in my heart had always told me to go on this trip primarily because my parents are from Mexico,” said Pulido, a senior psychology major with minors in honors humanities and sociology. “I knew that I would be an ideal servant, that God would use me to translate and to help others navigate through uncertainty.” Krohn, a sophomore allied health major who is from Peru, had been on many short term global engagement trips with his family. “This was my first time going out on my own and I wanted to choose someplace that was familiar, that I already had ties to the culture.”

The team of APU students partnered with the nonprofit organization Baja Bound, serving in a variety of areas. This included building a house for a single mother and her young daughter, helping in orphanages, and participating in children’s ministry programs through the organization’s children section, Baja Ed. “Most organizations that go through Baja Bound only do the house building, but APU is pushing for doing more with Baja Ed,” said Krohn. “I was thrilled with the big emphasis Baja Ed put on children’s ministry. If you want to do something working with kids, I highly recommend these Global Engagement trips.” He played games with kids in a migrant camp one day, but the main focus was providing opportunities for the local children. Krohn helped make tamales, candies, and confetti filled egg shells to sell at a parade the next day. The money they raised went towards funding Christmas parties for the children.

While Krohn and his team worked in the migrant camps, Pulido and her team helped out at various orphanages. “One of the orphanages was for individuals with special needs. Most of them were in wheelchairs,” said Pulido. She recalled helping feed the children, caring for a baby with a tube in his stomach, playing sports with the kids, and painting nails with the children. “One of the girls from the orphanage gave me a note, and I carry it with me in my wallet,” said Pulido. “You really do make an impact by simply being present. The experience reminded me that sometimes that’s all God wants us to do.”

Global Engagement trips serve as a way for students to grow in their faith surrounded by a supportive community.

“God showed me that there’s beauty in the little things,” Pulido said. “Even if life is hard there are individuals out there that rely on their faith to keep going. God also reminded me how important it is to tell others how much they’re loved, how much they’re appreciated, and how grateful I am to simply have my daily needs met.”

Similarly, Krohn described how he grew in his faith on the trip through intentionality. “I was taught to be more intentional about decisions and how they impact others. The encouragement to be intentional about starting things kept me going,” he said.

Both Pulido and Krohn shared wisdom with their fellow APU students about the personal impact of Global Engagement trips. “You genuinely don’t know the impact until you experience a Global Engagement trip and how transformative it is within an individual,” said Pulido. “A lot of people see it as really expensive, but what you put in, you will get out of it, and the Office of Service and Discipleship is more than happy to help you figure out how to make it financially feasible.”

Krohn expressed how APU’s Global Engagement opportunities act as a way to bridge the uncertainty of where to start with a plan of action. “A lot of people want to take action with their faith, but they’re afraid to take that first step,” Krohn said. “APU provides an easy, immersive, and impactful way to do that.”

All APU undergraduate students serve 120 hours over the course of four years. There are many opportunities during the school year and the summer to serve both locally and globally. Learn more about global engagement trips here or by emailing [email protected].