by Ashley Flynn
This summer, Kiley Butcher, Wabash, will spend six weeks ministering to college students and doing community service work in South Asia with Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU). Kiley is currently a junior at Ball State University, Muncie.
CRU is an international ministry community that works to fulfill the Great Commission, a Scripture in the book of Matthew in which Jesus instructs his disciples to go to all nations and teach them His commands. CRU was founded in 1951 on the UCLA campus, and they have a presence in 191 countries.
“I’m really excited to experience an Asian country and especially one that is so different from America. One day a week, we will get to do service work. Half the population of the city we will be in lives in severe poverty and thousands are enslaved to sex trafficking. I am excited to be able to help some of those people,” Kiley told The Paper of Wabash in an email.
While Kiley looks forward to her upcoming trip, she admits that traveling abroad can be a little scary, but mostly just exciting.
“It’s a little scary to go places you’ve never been. It’s also uncomfortable at times to share your faith with people,” she said. “Some people are very against God or religion and have very strong opposing feelings. I think that’s what makes it scary, but it’s so rewarding. That outweighs the fear by far.”
To anyone considering a similar trip, Kiley encourages everyone to go for it.
“Matthew 28:16-20 instructs all God’s people to ‘go and make disciples.’ It’s an instruction, not a suggestion,” Kiley said. “We’re called to tell people about God. Certainly we’re not all called to go overseas, but we can answer that calling by ministering to people in our own towns and by supporting those who are going.”
This will be Kiley’s second mission trip with CRU and her third mission trip altogether.
Kiley’s first trip was to France in 2009 with Free Will Baptist International Missions. Before the trip, the group spent a week in Nashville, Tenn., learning about French culture, language, how to interact with people, and how to communicate their faith.
“The France trip was much shorter. It was more about encouraging the missionaries who are already doing ministry in France and to give us a taste of what religion looked like in other cultures,” Kiley said.
Last summer, Kiley traveled with CRU to Gatlinburg, Tenn., for nine weeks.
“I lived in the city with a group of 30 CRU students from all over the county,” she said. “I was actually able to do ministry on my own. I worked in a Mexican Restaurant and we built relationships with our co-workers and were able to share our faith with them.”
Kiley said about 1,000 international students come to Gatlinburg every summer to work, and they held an international party every week to help build relationships and make them feel welcomed.
“The Lord really showed me His heart for the nations/world through these trips. When talking to them (international students), I found out that a lot of the Chinese students knew nothing about God at all and had never even heard his name,” Kiley said. “I can’t comprehend that. I feel like most people in America, even if they haven’t grown up in church or aren’t Christian, could tell you about God and maybe even rattle off a few Bible stories, but these students hadn’t even heard His name. That’s the biggest thing I took from that missions trip, a heart for the nations.”
To make this trip possible, Kiley asks for support through prayer and finances.
“It is so necessary to have people partnering with me and supporting me in prayer and financially. I wouldn’t be able to go and take God’s good news to the nations if there was no financial support and especially if there was no one praying for me and my team,” Kiley said. “I can’t even express how thankful I am for the people who have been faithful to support me for all my mission trips as well as the people who are continuing to join my team of supporters. Thank you for being obedient to God’s call by helping me go,” she says to all her supporters.
Financial supporters can give to Kiley by check made out to “CRU” and then mailed to Kiley Butcher, 330 Southwood Drive, Wabash, IN 46992, or online by going to give.cru.org and searching for Kiley Butcher.