General studies student, Michael Coody is participating in the first FHCHS long-term mission trip to Australia. This service was coordinated through the Campus Ministries Department and the North American Division Office of Volunteer Ministries. Coody began his service in January 2008 and will return to the U.S. in January 2009.
Coody serves as a volunteer youth pastor where he facilitates Friday night vespers and is actively organizing a holistic youth group. Coody is engaging in evangelistic opportunities. He has presented three sermons to the church congregation and one for a special youth service. Coody hopes to have a long-lasting effect on the lives of those he encounters while abroad.
“My biggest goal here is to get a youth/young adult group running that will maintain itself after I leave,” said Coody.
Florida Hospital College provided the opportunity for students to serve on an 18-day trip to El Salvador this summer. “Students and volunteers ministered in five different churches for two weeks straight providing Biblical sermons and eight health lectures,” stated campus chaplain, Stan Dobias. “The health lectures are based on the Florida Hospital curriculum, C.R.E.A.T.I.O.N. Health.”
The College continues to take part in a non-traditional short-term mission trip to Russia. Volunteers work with Zaoksky Adventist University students and faculty during the Christmas season. “A main goal of the trip is to reach kids in more than 30 orphanages in the Tula Region of Russia by addressing their physical needs,” states Dr. Ann Vining, trip coordinator. “It is not a typical evangelistic endeavor,” Not only does the group outfit over 2500 children each year with underwear, socks, jeans, sweaters, coats, and toys, they also endeavor to address specific needs at the orphanages. Vining related the experience of visiting one orphanage and seeing that dishes were being washed in a bath tub that had been installed in the kitchen. The College group helped fund a dishwashing system for that site. Other needs fulfilled included bread ovens, commercial potato peelers, tables and chairs, and linens for dormitory bedrooms. This year marks the seventh that FHCHS will participate.
Jennifer Lee, Disabilities Coordinator for FHCHS, has served in Peru and Honduras with groups from Florida Hospital, Celebration. She is currently working to recruit volunteers for their bi-annual mission trip in May 2009.
The Florida Hospital Celebration campus has extended an invitation to FHCHS faculty, staff and students to participate in the 12-day mission trip to the East coast of Africa. The Celebration campus, in partnership with Maranatha, has plans to build a literacy center in Beira, Mozambique.
Extending the healing ministry of Christ is more than just the care given in a clinical setting at Florida Hospital; it is also evident in the dedicated efforts of students, faculty, and staff as they reach out to others through both community service in the local Orlando area, and through volunteer mission efforts around the globe.