Tabor ACTION team serves alongside missionaries in France

ACTION Tabor

“Living in missions is a lifestyle.”

After spending almost three weeks in France, the thought captured the minds of four students who spent Interterm serving abroad. In a mostly Muslim neighborhood alongside migrated North African families, they found joy and hunger in building intimate and long-lasting relationships.

The ACTION team members, which included students and local Hillsboro community members, served alongside Multiply missionaries Paul (g’03) and Sara (Janzen, fs) Raugust and their team from Jan. 8-28.

Even as Caleb Kliewer (JR/Hillsboro, Kan.) walked beside two of Europe’s most iconic landmarks, the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, the relationships between the people and the missionaries resonated most deeply.

“Some of my favorite moments were sitting in people’s basements getting to talk and to hear amazing testimonies,” Kliewer said. “Some of the people I talked to, they inspired me with their stories.”

The Raugust’s help run a community outreach center, Cultur’Ovive, that sits beside their local church, Eglise de la Prairie. One of the biggest bonuses of the trip is that the Tabor group was able to assist them in networking with the local school and building relationships with additional families.

Between the community activities they put together through the outreach center and English for Speakers of Other Languages courses, they’re able to reach out more effectively to their primarily Muslim neighborhood.

“This particular team bonded really well,” said Craig Jost, director of Carson Center for Global Engagement. “That doesn’t always happen. It seemed like they really enjoyed being together. Even Paul said there wasn’t a time they were asked to do something, and they weren’t fully engaged. That’s a huge testament. Typically, that’s not the case. It’s hard in cross-cultural missions because you don’t know what’s going on, and you have a struggle connecting.”

Families were eager to bring the ACTION team members into their homes, dedicating hours to them for meals and various service projects in the community.

That desire to connect in a cross-cultural setting spoke volumes to Cody Meyer (SO/Tampa, Kan.).

“We saw incredible hospitality,” Meyer said. “We want to use that here (at Tabor), invite people in having intimate, more intentional conversations.”

Jost, who helped coordinate the trip for Tabor, said this team brought mixed levels of experience in missions and also traveling globally. With a handful of them expressing an innate desire to step outside of their comfort zone, it’s something he wants to continue to groom through his position in the Carson Center for Global Education.

“You don’t want to minimize people’s interest in other cultures,” Jost said. “It’s a God-given trait. That can be a unique way of bringing people together to chase after new experiences and serving together.”

Praised by the Raugust’s for their ability to connect with the local families, Kliewer and Meyer don’t want to see that end while they’re back on campus.

“We saw people who were so intentional in serving the Lord,” Kliewer said. “Coming back here… I want to be more aware of opportunities God is giving me to serve.”