There is no greater joy than serving others. This opportunity can come in many ways, such as through churches, schools or family events. At Cornerstone University, one of the service opportunities offered is Global Opportunity Trips or GO Trips. These trips take students to a multitude of places and can last anywhere from a week to a semester depending on what you choose.

For Mordecai Njoroge (B.S. ’20), GO Trips were an important piece of his college experience. In 2016, Njoroge moved from Nairobi, Kenya, to Grand Rapids, Mich., to attend Cornerstone, where he studied intercultural studies and biblical studies. As a freshman, Njoroge showed interest in leading a trip back to his home country. Through the support of his friends and a course about missions, he was able to help organize a GO Trip to Kenya.

The planning of these trips is extensive. It requires partnerships, finding interested students, training trip-goers, obtaining visas and organizing travel. The process is far from easy, but the payoff is worth it.

“Historically, mission trips were thought to be a one-way benefit,” Njoroge said. “What most people do not realize is that such trips benefit the people who go and the people being served as well.”

During trips like these, students are encouraged to go outside their comfort zones and experience the work God is doing around them. Trips also build incredible relationships between participants and everyone they meet in the process of planning, traveling and serving.

“You get to meet people who are different from you and see the world differently,” mentioned Njoroge. “They bring a unique perspective to the table.”

I can personally attest to both of these points. I remember a mission trip I attended in Kentucky through my church when I was in middle school. Though short and still in the states, it made a significant impact on me. We did quite a bit of heavy work during plenty of warm days. Even though I typically would not enjoy this type of work, I knew I was serving people through my efforts. That made it really fun. My trip only lasted a week, but I became so close with the people who were on the trip with me. We spent hours working with each other and many late nights playing cards and laughing together. It really is an experience like no other and something I will never forget.

You have heard about Njoroge’s experience, and even a bit of mine, but how do you know if a trip like this is for you?

“If God wants you to go on a trip, go,” said Njoroge. “Sometimes we have different motives and interests, but ultimately God works His purposes in spite of us.”

If you are feeling called, then go for it! The preparation may seem intimidating, but you need only trust that God will take care of it.

“When your heart is set on going as God calls, He provides,” said Njoroge.

The trip Njoroge organized to Kenya is one of many international service trips offered at Cornerstone, and though he has graduated from Cornerstone and is moving onto the next stage in his life, his impact on Cornerstone will be remembered through these GO Trips.