By Alex Hovious
Student ministry Missions in Action (MIA) is known for its work done outside the country, but it also has quite an impact in the United States.
Several mission trips through MIA go to different Native American reservations, working as well as ministering to the area they are sent.
Olivet student Taylor Provost had the privilege to serve on a missions trip to South Dakota while in high school. Provost and her team performed manual labor, repairing buildings damaged by a flood.
“I went on the trip in summer of 2010, and the previous summer I went on a trip to New York City, so going to a reservation was a huge change of environment,” Provost said. “We did a lot of house repair and also helped repair a local church; repainting, construction, etc.”
Although it was tough work, the reward was well worth it.
“I went because I loved going on trips and I was able to afford it so why not? I learned that a lot of people living out there are still very happy even though they don’t have much, compared to us,” Provost added. “The children were especially accepting and loving, and that made it even better.”
Olivet’s missions teams also visit locations throughout the United States, including Native American reservations. MIA plans on heading to Arizona this summer to a reservation, with Olivet computer science professor Dr. Larry Vail and his wife, Pamela, leading the trip along with Dr. Shane Ritter, chair of the Engineering Department.
This is not Dr. Vail’s first MIA trip; last year, Vail co-lead a trip to Santa Barbara Honduras where his team partnered with Footsteps Mission, The Garden of Hope and Love Orphanage. This year he will be serving at the Sun Valley Indian School in Arizona.
“My team will have engineering students that will be working on solar power and water collection systems for the school,” Vail said. “Computer science students will be working on the computers and the campus network. I am very excited for this trip and I hope to grow closer to my wife and son who will also go on the trip, and closer to the students as well. We will share the love of Jesus Christ and be blessed more than we will bless.”