HPU Junior Participates In Scandinavian Caravan Missions Trip, Visits Six Countries

HIGH POINT, N.C., July 24, 2009 – Katie Nelson, a junior majoring in political science and sociology at High Point University, spent a month this summer traveling throughout Scandinavia thanks to Scandinavian Caravan, a mission opportunity. She visited Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Scandinavian Caravan, an evangelistic exchange program between the United Methodist Church in Scandinavia and North Carolina, is geared to participants ages 18-24. It has been in existence for more than 50 years. The purpose is for participants to show one another how North Carolinians worship and provide support for Christians in Scandinavia. On the odd years, North Carolinians go to Scandinavia, and on the even years, Scandinavians come to North Carolina.

“Christianity is not embraced in Scandinavia like it is in America,” says Nelson. “There are 30,000 United Methodists in all of the four countries that make up Scandinavia. In the United States and Canada, there are 8 million United Methodists. United Methodists in North Carolina want to encourage growth in Scandinavia, so we send people over to support the Christians in Scandinavia. “

In early June, Nelson departed with five other female college students and their team leader. The team members were prepared to spend a month sharing their personal testimonies and skits with locals in the six countries. Nelson says the experience was a leap of faith, with some unknowns – for instance, when they embarked on the trip, they did not even know where they would be sleeping every night.

Nelson remarks that the missions experience was eye-opening and that, before the trip, she did not fully realize that Christianity is not necessarily as widely embraced overseas as it is in the U.S. She is thankful that she had the opportunity to participate in the mission and says the most memorable part of the trip was her ability to spread God’s love by being herself and meeting so many people.

“All of the people we met showed massive amounts of hospitality, even when they didn’t always have a lot to give,” Nelson adds. “It was very important for us to let the Christians of Scandinavia know that they are not alone. I was so blessed to go on this trip and I am greatly looking forward to the arrival of the Scandinavians next summer.”

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in a fun environment with caring people. HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with 3,700 undergraduate and graduate students from 50 countries and 44 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report No. 5 among comprehensive universities in the South and No. 1 in its category among up-and-coming schools. Forbes.com ranks HPU in the top 6 percent among “America’s Best Colleges.” HPU was included in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Great Colleges to Work For” 2009 listings. The university offers 68 undergraduate majors, 40 undergraduate minors and seven graduate degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at www.highpoint.edu.

Chris DudleyVice President for Administration336-841-4530cdudley@highpoint.edu

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