Campus Ministry now in charge of STA mission trips

This year STA will not be having a Nicaragua mission trip, however there will still be several mission trips this year.


Students, theology teacher Robert Tonnies and his wife pray at the airport after arriving back in Kansas City from their mission trip to Nicaragua June 6. This was STA’s second mission trip to Nicaragua. While in Nicaragua, the students and other volunteers helped dig trenches and place water pipes in Chinandega, Nicaragua. photo courtesy of Robert Tonnies

by Alexandra Frisch and Maddy Medina

story by Alex Frisch


This year STA will not plan a Nicaragua mission trip, according to STA theology teacher Robert Tonnies, who was the organizer for the mission trips the past two years.

“With the Nicaragua trip there was a really elaborate pre-trip process,” Tonnies said. “We had to fundraise all the money, which usually ends up being about $20,000, which is a lot.”

According to Meredith Snyder, Director of Ministry and Service, the Amigos for Christ program had made some recent changes that no longer made it a good fit for STA.

Starting this year, Campus Ministry will be running all mission trips. Teachers will still be able to sponsor mission trips, with the Campus Ministry office as a resource, according to Snyder.

“It seems to make sense to have [mission trips] all under the one umbrella of the service-ministry department,” Snyder said. “So that way we can make sure students are getting meaningful experiences, even though they may be going through a variety of organizations.”

Despite the Nicaragua mission trip being cancelled for this upcoming year, there will still be several mission trips this year according to Snyder.


photos taken and compiled by Maddy Medina

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“We are going to continue our relationship with the Homes from the Heart program’s trip to Guatemala over spring break,” Snyder said. “That’s something we hope to continue for many years to come.”

According to Snyder, Campus Ministry is also planning a domestic trip this year.

“We hope [the domestic trip] will diversify the service opportunities and make a more affordable option for students who may not be able to afford an international trip.

As well as school-wide mission trips, students may now substitute a week-long mission trip with a school-approved agency for Phase 2 or Phase 3 of the junior/senior service project, according to Snyder. Approval of this substitution would be at the discretion of Snyder and STA administration.

“We’re hoping to have different types of service,” Tonnies said. “That way if a student has been to one place, even if they pick a different place, hopefully it’s a different kind of service. Then you’re not just working with a different community, you’re doing something different and learning about a different aspect of social justice.”

According to STA junior Molly Muehlebach, who went on last year’s Nicaragua trip, the mission trips are “humbling” and “life-changing” experiences.

“It opened my eyes up to what I might want to do outside of college,” Muehlebach said. “Now I’m thinking about maybe doing something with volunteer work. I want to be a doctor, so one day I may want to help in third world countries.”
Muehlebach’s advice to anyone considering a mission trip is to “definitely go.” It’s such a great experience.”