Going to Argentina - A Non-Traditional 'Mission Trip'
- By Indu Shanmugam
- Published 04/23/2008
Indu Shanmugam is a 20-something, college student from Oregon, USA. She is majoring in English literature and language. She also studied Theology for a short period. She wants to be a teacher. As a literature enthusiast, she enjoys literature of all types and from writers of various backgrounds from the classics, French realists, Christian writings like C.S Lewis and South Asian literature. As for her own writings, "I am still trying to find and develop my own voice." She sees the art of the written word as a way to speak about Christ and explore truth. Before she met Jesus Christ, she has been searching for the meaning of life through experimentation of other religions, philosophies and ideas. At the age of 17, she accepted Christ after a powerful encounter with God through a miracle. God's presence and deep truths in the Bible fuel her creativity. She is involved in church activities and has a love for the church and would like to see every believer grow, become closer to God and live fruitfully. She loves traveling, sipping bubble teas, theatre, music, films and hanging out with friends and has a weakness for cheesecake.
There has been a change of plans. Instead of Mexico, I'll be spending summer in Argentina. It's part of a study abroad program. I'll get plenty of practice in Spanish. I can understand basic conversation but out of practice. I'll be staying with a host family.
I want to explore the area. It sounds beautiful.
Steak - I hear that steak is their specialty. It seems vegetarianism is unheard of over there.
New People - I always like meeting new people - other students, host family, and others.
Tango - Of course, you can't separate Tango from Argentina. I want to see it and maybe learn the basics.
Spanish - I don't want to be an American (as in a person who speaks one language only) A high school teacher said,
What do you call a person that speaks 3 languages? - Trilingual
What about a person that speaks 2 languages? - Bilingual
What do you call a person that speaks one language? - American
Immersing in a new, unfamiliar atmostphere can be a bit nerve racking but at the same time exciting. I can't wait.
So what if this isn't an official mission trip? Someday I'd like to do mission work. However, missional living is in the normal ordinary things. What if I encounter people who have never seen a Christian live out their life? Being involved in people's lives, illustrating how an ordinary person connects and continually seeks God is how it works. I don't always have to get behind a pulpit and always preach. I try to live sincerely as much as possible. I'll let them see my flaws (many flaws) and my attitude behind them.
In a way, this could be a non-traditional 'mission trip'. Glorifying God can sometimes be through simple, everyday things.
And this study-abroad experience will look impressive on my resume and Spanish speaking will help me get a job later.