For Cross Cultural Studies students there is a Semester Abroad study program offered in the fall of the senior year for those who desire to spend a semester abroad during their TFC experience. The student may select one of various centers located outside the U.S. and complete the fall semester classes while overseas. By selecting this option, the student does not do the six-week summer internship but instead fulfills the internship requirement via the Semester Abroad program.
For more information about the Semester Abroad program, please contact Dr. Fred Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-888-785-5624, ext. 5424.
To find out more information about Study Abroad opportunities at TFC, visit our Study Abroad page.
The Sun Never Sets
By Yeng Her, ’12
As Dr. R. A. Forrest said, “The sun never sets on the graduates of Toccoa Falls College.” We also hear the stories of those who have yet to graduate, but are serving beyond the border of the United States.
On August 21, 2011, four Toccoa Falls College students, Chengbay Thao, Starry Bone, and Nathan and Liesel Fitzgerald, began what would be a three and a half month adventure on the island nation of Indonesia. According to the Central Intelligence Agency, Indonesia has a population of approximately 248,216,193 people. In its latest update, The Joshua Project finds that 79.1 percent of Indonesia’s population is Muslim and 13.7 percent is Christian.
Chengbay said he chose to be a part of the World Missions Department’s Semester Abroad program “because I wanted to stay longer on my internship; and I decided to go to Indonesia because I studied the Sundanese of Indonesia for my Anthropological Research Project.” This provided Chengbay with the perfect opportunity to experience and minister firsthand to the people group he had studied. “The number one thing I learned from my internship was humility. I didn’t get to do anything that I wanted to do, and I had to humble myself to build relationships,” said Chengbay.
Starry shares that since she was 11 years old, “I have been praying for missionaries, and though at first I denied the calling to missions, God opened my heart to it. It was during my freshman year at TFC that I asked God to show me which direction to go, and God gave me the passion for missions.”
Before her decision to go to Indonesia, Starry felt a leading to Europe, but time after time the doors closed. One thing that Starry learned while in Indonesia was that “God really knows what’s best for us and will work things out for us even when we don’t see it. It’s funny that I felt a leading to Poland but ended up in Indonesia instead. It was like God flipped me upside down just like how the two flags are similar in that they’re flipped versions of each other.”
While in Indonesia, the interns were able to be a part of various ministries like sports, informal and formal English classes, and community outreach. They were able to witness firsthand the work of missionaries and put into practice the very knowledge that they were learning from their classes.
Nathan and Liesel were fairly newlyweds when they left for Indonesia, only being married a couple of months, but their time in Indonesia gave them firsthand experience of their future plans—being missionaries overseas. Nathan said that while you are a missionary “you may not see a single conversion, but you can plant the seed or nurture the seed.”
During the homestay, Nathan was able to share his faith and the love of Jesus Christ in his life with a Muslim man and through this the Muslim man shared his faith in return. This opened a door for Nathan to build a relationship to continue to pour into this man’s life, even upon his return in the United States. Liesel shares that “meeting a young missionary couple was encouraging. They gave us good wisdom and advice as we are preparing to be missionaries in the future.”
Starry had the opportunity to be a part of Street Academy, a community outreach which is a sports ministry. She coached soccer, making use of her experience of playing soccer for TFC. Street Academy sponsored children who were on the streets. The children came to the program and learned a life lesson like honesty, perseverance, working hard, and many others. This was a plus for Starry since she missed the 2011 soccer season due to being in Indonesia.
During his time in Indonesia, Chengbay was able to develop relationships with two Indo-Chinese young men through the local English center. Chengbay was able to share with them about religious belief systems and especially about the Muslim belief system.
It was echoed by all the interns that their classes at TFC prepared them well for their semester abroad. It wasn’t just something to be learned but something to be practiced and lived out. As it says in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The students of TFC continue to be equipped to do the will of God, in taking the good news of the love of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. So whether a graduate or not, the sun will never set on any TFC student—past, present, or future.
Chengbay, Starry, Nathan, and Liesel are all Cross-Cultural Studies majors. Chengbay, Nathan, and Liesel graduated in May 2012 and Starry is an upcoming senior.
Editor’s Note: This article was published in Toccoa Falls College’s Connections, Spring/Summer 2012 magazine.
Learn more about Study Abroad opportunities at TFC, visit our Study Abroad page!