Date of Award
Dr. Barbara Pemberton
Dr. Ray Franklin
Dr. Myra Houser
During the spring of my junior year of college, I had the opportunity to spend five months on the mission field in West Africa through the International Mission Board's Hands-On semester, a program where college-aged students spend approximately five months abroad working with career missionaries in their ministries. I had no idea what to expect going into the program, and I had very little understanding of what missionary life really looked like. I spent time researching the spirituality and history of the area I would be living and working in in the months before I left; I wanted to go into the semester with a foundational understanding of the culture, religious backgrounds, and people that I would be interacting with and living among. My research was helpful in giving me a historical understanding of West Africa and a general picture of what life there would be like, but I also realized that a lot of what I had learned through my studies was not accurate to what I would encounter during my time there. In this paper, I will discuss the different topics I studied in my pre-trip research and recount my experiences during my Hands-On semester in order to communicate the things I wished I would have known going into the program, the parts of my research that were beneficial in helping me adjust to and understand West Africa, and the lessons I took away from the whole experience.
Turner, Logan, "Experiencing West Africa: What a Semester on the Mission Field Taught Me" (2018). Honors Theses. 658.