This summer Lauren Bimber had an exciting opportunity with ReachAcross. Lauren is a senior Accounting major from Lombard, Illinois. She came to Grove City College because her brother previously attended the College and loved the people along with the godly atmosphere. She loves how the campus feels like a family, how wonderful the professors are, and how happy everyone seems to be here.
What did you do this past summer? Did you get connected to this opportunity through GCC?
This summer I was an intern for an organization called ReachAcross in the United Kingdom. I went through the Red Box Missions program at Grove City, and I was connected with the organization through a friend who was in the program the previous summer.
What is ReachAcross? What do they do?
ReachAcross is “a network of Jesus-followers who are dedicated to sharing the Good News with Muslims and serve them in practical ways, no matter how difficult or inaccessible they may be.
What did you do specifically?
This summer I was able to experience different forms of outreach to immigrant communities, while learning about the religion and cultural aspects of Islam. I helped some with teaching English, working at Kids Clubs, helping out at community center for women, and spending time at prayer meetings with networks of people and churches who are dedicated to serving the immigrant communities. I was basically learning how people are reaching out in practical and simple ways through friendship to show the love of Jesus to their neighbors.
What was your favorite moment from this summer/what was most rewarding?
It’s hard to pick a favorite or most rewarding aspect of my summer. There were a few days where I was able to spend time talking and coloring with a small group of elementary-aged girls from the community. We talked about stories from the Bible and different aspects of being Christian or Muslim. There was no efforts in trying to convert one another. We wanted to learn about each other the same way that any set of friends would. We laughed a lot, there were some tears over ruined pictures (not on my end), and there was a lot of love that was shared with these girls. The time I was able to spend with them was unique and very special to me.
How has this opportunity prepared you for life after college?
After college, I am planning on doing work very similar to what I did this past summer, but to add some accounting to the mix. Refugee and immigrant communities are growing in this country, and there are needs within those communities that can easily be met by willing people. God has provided us, as a Christian community, with access to so many opportunities to serve Him by serving and sharing with the people around us. Are we/will we be willing to take those opportunities?