"Prepared by MSOL, Embraced with Agape Love and Brought into the Family of God"
Sophie Park, a 2008 graduate of the Geneva College MSOL program, recently shared a mission trip experience highlighting her travels and how insights gained from the MSOL program really gave her the confidence to be effective in a cross-cultural setting. Sophie traveled with five other individuals from North Way Christian Community Church in Pittsburgh to Moldova, a small country about the size of Maryland, landlocked in Eastern Europe between Ukraine and Romania. Moldova was part of the Soviet Union until gaining its independence in 1991. It is currently one of the poorest nations in Europe. In Moldova, Sophie Park and her mission team connected with Philip Cameron Ministries.
Balancing the demands of attending graduate school with other responsibilities can be challenging. But all the hard work is truly worth it according to Sophie. She shares, "New adventures sometime require a step of faith. Starting a master's degree a good number of years after earning my bachelor's entailed a step of faith. Now on the other side, I feel blessed having acquired the MSOL degree. [The MSOL experience] helped me to develop the perspective of a servant leader which I was able to apply as I took another step of faith and headed off to Moldova last October on my first international mission trip."
Moldova has a deplorable reputation of being the engine of the sex trafficking trade. Those at most risk are the children in the orphanages. Philip Cameron started working in the orphanages upon becoming aware of the inhumane conditions children were forced to live in as well as the dismal future for girls forced into the sex trafficking trade. He created Stella House which serves as a safe haven for young women who are released from the orphanages. They are placed in a family setting with other girls where their physical and spiritual needs are fully met. Sophie notes that she "witnessed true joy as we worshipped with some of these young women at a cultural center in Chisinau, capital of Moldova. Contemporary worship songs were translated into Romanian, and voices and hands were lifted in praise of Almighty God."
Sophie spent many days at the Stella Houses getting to know the girls who live there. Standing side by side, two Stella Houses are home to 20 young women. Plans for two additional houses are underway. She marveled at how the girls helped and encouraged one another, managed their chores, and tackled school work.
Although boys in Moldova do not face the same dangers as girls, they need similar support. Simon House is a place where boys are taught to be godly men. During Sophie′s visit, 20 boys were housed in Simon House. They, too, displayed the appreciation and joy that the Stella House girls did.
Much more work and resources are needed to bring to fruition the work God has called Philip Cameron Ministries to do in Moldova. The vision is to take over all of the orphanages in Moldova and to care for all of the orphans. Imagine how the culture could be changed when children are raised with godly principles!
Throughout the MSOL program, students learn that change requires leadership. Sophie remarks, "Geneva taught me that it takes a person's whole self-mind, body and soul-to be a truly successful leader. I saw this come to life on my mission trip to Moldova. Observing Philip Cameron, I saw a true leader: One who is inspirational and effective and changing lives through his ministry. Without my MSOL experience, I would not have truly understood why Phillip was such an effective and motivational leader."
Thinking back on her mission trip, Sophie stated, "I left Moldova with an overwhelming sense of hope. Although there are still physical needs to be met, these children are embraced with agape love and brought into the family of God. It is quite possible history books will one day declare that Moldova was saved by the grace of God." Sophie Park plans to return to Moldova in April 2012.
No matter what the context-the workplace, at home, in the community, in the church or in a cross-cultural setting like Moldova-the leadership principles studied and applied through Geneva′s MSOL experience can be effective tools to bring transformation to individuals and organizations. Geneva′s MSOL Program develops leaders who serve. Consider further development of your leadership skills through Geneva's MSOL program and join over 850 alumni who know what it means to serve. Contact us at 724-847-2715 or visit our website at www.geneva.edu/msol.
To learn more about Philip Cameron Ministries, please visit: http://www.philip-cameron.org/