VASE trips challenge student growth

Kaitlyn Lee, News writer

Over spring break, many upper secondary students participated in Vision, Action Service, Evangelism (VASE) trips and grew academically, socially, and faithfully. Each student had unique experiences stating, “you learn how to be more modest” and “God was always there.”

The VASE trip to China visited a small province area called Yanji near the North Korean border and served God at Yanbian International School (YIA).  Students and teachers observed noticeable differences between GSIS and YIA, though they are both international schools.  

“I compared what YIA doesn’t have and what I have in GSIS. I always felt like my school, could try more things in terms of education. I saw YIA, and they are so happy with the education they have, although it lacks,” said Jaime Suh, a ninth-grade student.

“My mom and dad told me that I became really mature in terms of waking up and doing my homework and cleaning up my room and being thankful,” stated Jaime.

She added, “You learn how to be more modest in your life because you see other people living so happily when they have less than what you have.”  

As students viewed a society with very little compared to what GSIS students normally have, they learned to be thankful for their current state.

I learned to become more humble after coming back from VASE. It’s been an experience where I chose to change my actions and try to follow what Jesus really wants for me. As of right now, considering from what I did last year, I think praise team was a big thing. I joined it before going to VASE team but it became a bigger interest to me to stay in praise team and praise God every chapel on Fridays.” claimed Daniel Oh, a 10th-grader that has been on the Myanmar VASE trip for the second time.

He added, “VASE is more than just a week of where we hang out with our peers but it’s more of an experience where you get to know your personal identity, you get to know what you’re really passionate towards and you also get to have an experience with God that’s really personal in many ways.“

VASE also includes diverse activities that helped build a student’s perspective upon God.

Clara Shin, a 9th-grader who went on the Indonesian Sports trip said there were debriefs about their day every night including points on how “God helped” and “encouraged” the team. She continued, “even though the weather was really hot, God was always there.”

Many other VASE participants mentioned chapel and small groups were positive additions to their trip.

“In Myanmar, we went to an orphanage and the orphanage was very religiously christian centered,” said 9th-grader, Brendan Hodge, who went of his first VASE trip this this spring.

He said “their little voices” coming together in God at the end of every night, “was cool to see”.

“The chapels were a good opportunity to express and teach our faith.” said Brendan.

One of the goals of a VASE trip is to grow in faith towards God as students experience a new environment.