Every school year, RBTC’s School of World Mission’s students have the unique opportunity to travel to another country for 4-6 weeks on an internship. The intern’s main focus is to serve within the vision of the host missionary.
This year, Matt Hattabaugh, a ’92 RBTC graduate, hosted students Ilya Galenko and Samuel Saleb in Beirut, Lebanon. For Ilya, this trip brought new friendships and a greater respect for the culture. “The Christian people are so pure and on fire for God! Others were very receptive to the Gospel.”
Christianity is actually a big part of the culture in Lebanon. The political system is set up so no one religion can take power. However, there is a lot of religious tradition that takes place. This can change with discipleship. Ilya shares, “We wanted to help connect people at the different churches. Helping them to grow and encouraging them in their own work was a big part of the trip.” Ilya and Samuel were able to teach people of all ages at various churches.
There’s also a strategic opportunity with all the Syrian refugees being there. “You can’t preach the gospel in Syria, but you can in Lebanon! You can preach to the refugees here, and they can take it back to their people.” Ilya shares that Muslims were open to hearing about the Gospel; many had never even heard about Jesus! The harvest field is definitely ripe in this country.
Ilya recalls, “I really didn’t think I was going to do Rhema’s School of World Missions; I didn’t feel called to be a missionary. But this experience has been amazing. You don’t have to be called to be a missionary or pastor to go on a mission’s trip. Even if you’re a business person or layperson, going into another country is a huge experience. It shows you the rest of the world, besides America. It doesn’t just look different, the people are different. The culture is different. The food is different. Even sleeping is different!”
If world missions is on your heart, what better place to prepare at then RBTC? We take the Great Commission to heart and help you pursue the call of God on your life. Just like Ilya and Samuel, you can make a difference in the world!