Sarah McReynolds leaves on 9-month "Globe TREK"



Sarah McReynolds, a student at Praire Bible College, in the Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies since August of 2009, left for her 9-month international internship on Wednesday September 26.
Sarah presently calls Calgary her home but was originally from Ottawa. She has also lived in Vancouver and Quebec City, so 'travel' and adaptation is just part of her life, and the moving has really prepared her for this step. The program under which she is going out, is referred to as "Globe TREK", the T-R-E-K standing for "Travel + Research + Education... for the Kingdom." She is the first one to go forth under this banner.
When asked what prompted her to find out about Prairie in general and to consider this program in particular, Sarah traced the events from her being actively involved with her Calgary home church, the Centre Street Church. Because she was an active Air Cadet and had already obtained her Private Pilot License from Skywings in Red Deer, a mentor at her church told her about Prairie's Mission Aviation Program. A long-held desire to be involved overseas led from this interest to becoming involved in Prairie's Discover Program, which she pursued, having her spend two months in Guatemala and El Salvador.
This current venture is but the culmination of the earlier experiences and the promptings to be further involved. Sarah learned something about "slavery" and being set free through an on-campus Freedom Session, which in turn led her to study 21st century slavery in what is now being referred to as "human trafficking". She and some friends mounted a campaign on campus and raised over $3,300 that was forwarded to the International Justice Mission to go toward ending human trafficking in Cambodia.
Now she has come to this place that has taken her first to Thailand and Cambodia, then India and then Africa. She will be gone for 9 months and expects to return in June or July, 2013.
Sarah will be working with several different Mission agencies in various countries; ie., Youth With A Mission in Thailand, Daughters of Cambodia in Cambodia, and Christar and a church planting organization in India, with details of the African leg of the journey yet to be determined.
As of the day before her departure, Sarah still needed to raise another $5,000 to cover all of her costs.
Sarah is "only 21" and the area of involvement, ie. human trafficking...and also the area of "child soldiers" in some of these countries...would suggest there could be an element of danger. One might wonder how her parents and friends feel about this. She says that her "parents are excited for her to go on the trip and are fully supportive. They're trusting that the Lord will protect me."
Of her friends she says they are excited for her also and many of them wish they could join her. She was baptized on Sunday (Sept. 23) with a farewell party following. She will be missing her "graduation" that will take place before she returns, but she intends to keep in touch with the friends she has made over the past years through her blogs and updates.
When asked concerning her expectations as to what she may be doing when she comes home to Canada next year, or what she envisions as her long-term career or ministry and what if any thing along the way has confirmed this course for her, it will serve best to just quote what she said.
"I've been offered a job at a non-profit in Calgary, which has a program that reaches out to youth who have been, currently are, or at-risk of being sexually exploited and trafficked. I hope to work there when I come back, as well as volunteer with the Calgary Pregnancy Care Centre, or with Youth Unlimited's mobile drop-in centre for street kids, or with outreach programs to new Canadians settling into the city. I will be coming back to Three Hills for a semester to finish a few courses that I couldn't take while overseas. While here, I'll be processing what I experienced and learned in my 9 months travelling around the world, and continuing to study the Gospel and ways to share the good news of life and freedom with others.
"I can see myself living in a Canadian community, working with people who have been sexually exploited, helping new Canadian families settle into the neighbourhood, discipling teenagers as they deal with the drama that comes with being a teenager, and reaching out to my neighbourhood through community dinners; literally 'loving my neighbours"' I can also see myself doing similar ministry in another nation.
"I just know that this is what God wants me to do. It just seems that God has been preparing me for this for years. It was again affirmed this summer when I was working in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver (with YouthWorks Canada), and I got to chat with a few prostituted women. I asked one of them if she wanted to be working the corner and she said no. I asked her what her dream was, and she said to get off the street and own her own business. That was confirmation for me that what I am investing my life into is needed."