Vivian Geow's Mission Trip
By Ally Romanes on September 27, 2023
Transformative, gratifying, and sweaty.
That’s how Vivian Geow, PUC accreditation specialist & MBA program advisor, described the mission trip with ShareHim ministries to Columbia from July 26 to August 8. Geow's group consisted of 12 people- five from Yountville SDA church and seven from North Carolina. Within the two subgroups were about five young adults led by their respective home church pastors.
Mission trips by ShareHim have participants speak at a church– something Geow said she would never do. Yet, she was to deliver 11 sermons to a Spanish-speaking audience in Neiva, a bustling city of 365,000 people, 200 miles south of the capital city of Bogota.
ShareHim prepared sermons for participants with an average of 65 slides in Spanish. The decision to go on this mission trip was easy for Geow. She’d never been before, and since she lives in rural South Dakota, she was excited about traveling to a new country.
Once they arrived in Neiva, they were paired with interpreters and assigned to churches at the South Andean Mission of the Seventh-day Adventist church. They settled into a routine of sermon preparation, gathering for mealtimes, and preaching in the evenings.
As each day passed, Geow understood what it meant to trust God. Neiva was a foreign place where she had no control over the environment. “How will our sermons be received? Can the interpreters deliver the messages effectively?” were questions running through her head, but she knew to trust God that things would work out according to His will.
Nerves gradually transformed into excitement for the messages she shared at Sion Rivera SDA church. The church had about 40 members of various ages and of Seventh-day Adventists and other religious backgrounds. Geow felt blessed to have retired Pastor Marco Barrera as her interpreter but knew it was the Holy Spirit's job to make sure the congregation understood the sermons.
Some themes of Geow’s messages included the origin of sin, prophecy, and Jesus’ second coming. “One topic I was eager to present was regarding the state of the dead, as it was the basis of my conversion to the Adventist faith,” she said. “How’s that for saying I would never preach?”
This experience gave her the chance to focus and ponder the reasons for her conviction in the Adventist faith. “This trip has stretched my comfort zone in so many beautiful ways,” shared Geow. “I met wonderful people, walked into their culture, and learned how God can use me to further His kingdom. My only regret is not having joined one sooner, and thus, I strongly recommend that other young adults undertake a similar trip if the opportunity comes along for them. As Jesus said, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.’ Go!”
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