Exit Interviews

Minimester experiences change the lives and grow the faith of students and those they serve.

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Exit Interviews

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Minimester. A word that carries emotion, anticipation and promise for students in the Upper School.

This special time, the week before Spring Break, is set aside for students to spread Christ’s love through mission work, develop character, explore academically, discover passions through internships or make college visits. The majority of students each year choose to serve.

Growing up in the school’s culture, students can’t wait for their chance to make a difference in a community near home or across the globe. While doing so, each student comes away with a unique experience.

No two stories are the same and yet, all further one purpose – taking Christ to all the nations. Here are firsthand stories from those who served in areas around the world in the form of question and answer. They paint a picture of surrender and affirmation, love and overcoming fears, and trust and God’s provision. These students left to change and came back changed.

What was your original intention going on the trip,

and how did that change?

Senior Elijah Dominguez – South Asia

“Signing up for Minimester was a simple choice for me. I had never traveled internationally before, and the decision came down to distance, to see how far I could get from Plano. It wasn’t until the third day in South Asia that I realized God placed me there for a reason.”

“I had never evangelized in my life, and it was nerve-racking to share the Gospel. But after the first two houses, something inside me changed. It was like a light turned on, and I could see the calling on my life. I began to find joy in planting seeds and sharing the Word. And it hit me on the bus ride back to the hotel, that I’d never known happiness like this.”

What was the biggest obstacle you faced on the trip?

Senior Honor Ridings – Northern England

“I think the biggest obstacle that I and most of everyone else dealt with was probably answering some of the questions the students had at the school where we served. These kids were well researched about why they didn’t believe in God, and they had points to back up their beliefs. They would ask us questions that I have never thought of. So, the hardest part was definitely giving them right and helpful answers to their theological questions.”

What perspective have you gained coming back to America?

Senior Ricky Baker – Amazon

“My trip to the Amazon River really changed my perspective coming home, more than I ever thought it would. This trip allowed me to gain worldly perspective and be grateful. Coming back home from Brazil, I really appreciate all the blessings I have and all the opportunities I am presented with. I’m so happy I got to travel to the Amazon River, and I am confident that I was able to share God’s love with everyone I came into contact with, no matter how old or what language they spoke.”

What was the most meaningful experience you went through

on your trip?

Sophomore Katy Jacobs – Haiti

“To me the most impactful day was Friday when we had finished building the house and got to hand the keys over to the new owners. We were all standing in a circle around them. Each student had at least two children with them, and it was amazing to see how involved they wanted to be. The pastor who was performing the ceremony asked the children if the work we had done was our own or was it God’s. Every child said that it was the work of God. It was really amazing to see that the people knew the real reason we were there and not that we just came to give glory to ourselves.”

What made you want to go on this trip,

and were any expectations you had surpassed?

Junior Avery Donohue – Uganda

“When I was in Africa, I got the chance to meet the girl my older sister Gracie sponsors. She met her last year and felt a real connection. This was such a special moment for me. I had heard so much about this little girl from my sister, and I’d watched her grow up over the past year through the picture and video updates from Sponsor-A-Child. When I finally got the chance to meet her in person, it was better than I could’ve ever imagined, and it was so cool to show Gracie how happy she still was.”

How do you think the integration of sports and missions

helped you throughout the trip?

Junior Elise McMillin – Dominican Republic

“During our trip, we spent the mornings in villages and the afternoons playing basketball. After we played pick-up games with various teams, one of us would share our testimony with everyone there. By playing basketball in the Dominican Republic, our perspective for the game was completely altered. This alternation came as a result of the opportunity to share our faith in front of a crowd we otherwise never would have encountered. This trip thoroughly impacted me by opening my eyes to the fact that there is more to life than the game of basketball, and the fulfillment of God’s kingdom should be at the forefront of all that we do.”

Senior Sam Boese – Dominican Republic

“Although there may be a language barrier, the sport of baseball helped us immensely in sharing the Gospel. Our kind actions and loving play of the game showed how to mirror Christ’s love for one another, and this type of love definitely made an impact on the Dominican boys. Through our shared testimonies we were able to thoroughly integrate God’s word during the trip. We shared the Gospel after every game we played, and I think the repetition definitely planted seeds within the hearts of the people there. Towards the end of the week, we began to receive multiple questions about Christianity and our lifestyles. By the end of the trip, 11 Dominican baseball players accepted Christ into their lives, and I truly think God used our shared love of baseball to assist us in fulfilling His purpose for our own lives.”