This summer, seven Troy students will spend eight weeks of their summer in Brazil interacting with Brazilian college students and immersing themselves in the culture.
Campus Outreach is a Christian organization that works to build relationships with students on campus by the sharing of their faith; this summer, they plan to take that mission to Brazil.
Kymesha Atwood, a junior broadcast journalism major from Huntsville, will be going to Brazil for the first time this summer.
“We definitely want to plant seeds for people who are unbelievers and also believers,” Atwood said. “We just want to leave a part of Campus Outreach and a part of Troy in Brazil.”
The students will be staying with a host family during the trip while building relationships with students who are on campus.
“We’ll basically just be evangelizing and learning the culture of Brazil and the differences of being over here.”
This will not be Campus Outreach’s first trip to Brazil. Kristen Hudman, a senior communication major from Birmingham, went on the trip last year.
“The cool part about Brazil is that everybody loves Brazil all around the world,” Hudman said. “You basically share the Gospel to send more people out. We as Americans – not everybody loves us, even though we might think so – like, we can’t go share the Gospel in some parts of Asia or the Middle East. They’re not going to welcome us, but when you go to Brazil, and they become a Christian, then you can send those people out and all of a sudden it becomes a process of seeds being planted everywhere.”
Campus Outreach asked Atwood to go on the trip this year because they felt she fit into certain guidelines as a Christian and as a leader that were needed on the trip. She took some time to think about it, and eventually made her decision after praying and finding Bible verses that comforted her in her decision.
“I’m not doing anything else, so why wouldn’t I go?” Atwood said.
Hudman’s experience in the decision to go to Brazil was a little different. At a missions conference the summer before, she felt the call to go to Brazil after hearing a message from one of the speakers.
“There are goers, and there are senders,” Hudman said. “I just felt called in that moment.”
Hudman’s group went to Goiânia, a new city where Campus Outreach was not in before to test it out.
“It was kind of like everything was a trial and error. We went there thinking that, ‘Oh, like…we might not see anything happen. It will be good if they become our friends, and we’ll be happy with whatever the Lord does,’ but the Lord just went above and beyond and brought so many people and had so many great conversations.”
Hudman said she loved seeing how the friendships developed and built throughout the summer.
Gabrielle Byrd, a senior marketing major from Birmingham, also went to Brazil for the first time last summer.
“I think the most impactful part was the people we met and how I think I’ve carried some of those relationships on even after being gone,” Byrd said.
One of Byrd’s favorite memories was being there while the World Cup was taking place in Spain.
“We got to hang out with students almost every game,” Byrd said. “A lot of times we would have them over; sometimes we would go over there.
“It was really easy to get caught up in the hype of the game. I think that was one of the times I felt most like I was really there.”
While the students are raising financial support, what the students desire most of all is that people pray for their time in Brazil.
“Definitely pray, especially that the Lord will provide for our needs and safety over the summer,” Atwood said. “Also, that he would increase our love and dependence on one another.”