Posted April 1, 2016 by
Tags: My Wheaton Global and Experiential Learning
Wheaton College's Vanguard Gap Year Program
This post was written by Seth Chun, a student in Wheaton College's Vanguard Gap Year. This new program is designed for 18-20 year old high school graduates seeking a gap year experience prior to enrolling at college. With Vanguard, they are immersed in an experiential program dedicated to helping them prepare for college and find their calling in life. Living at HoneyRock, students are guided by guest facilitators and HoneyRock/Wheaton College faculty and staff. Vanguard students take three trips while in the program; here, Seth describes the cross-cultural immersion trip that took place this February.
As Christians, we are called to intentional action, working to help others while consciously dedicated to the glorification of God. And yet, we must be certain our intentions are pure. How does one find a balance, let alone the chance, to serve deliberately? For me, that answer came in the form of Vanguard Gap Year’s international immersion trip to the Dominican Republic.
Paired with Students International, a California based non-profit, my fellow Vanguards and I were given the chance to spend two weeks working at various ministry sites around the city of Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic. This opportunity was an incredible blessing, and it created an environment where we were able to fully experience another culture while utilizing our strengths and passions to work with the less fortunate. As a videography enthusiast, I got to work with Students International’s Media and Communications team to document our outreach efforts at all the sites throughout the course of our two weeks.
I was fortunate enough to work under the guidance of site leaders Michael and Matteo, two community members who embodied love and an attitude of service. Listening to the wisdom of these individuals and watching them selflessly work to better the lives of their neighbors helped me see what it truly means to work for the glory of God. Whether rich or poor, healthy or sick, light or dark skinned, Michael and Matteo interacted with and loved everyone they came across. These men seemed to fully embody Jesus’ instruction to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31), living out their faith through obedience. I’m grateful to have had such an enlightening experience in the Dominican, and I hope to apply the lessons I learned there about serving others for the rest of my life.
Seth is a high school graduate enrolled in Wheaton College's Vanguard Gap Year program. Learn more about the program or refer a student on Vanguard’s website!