Each year for the past ten years, students from Auburn Adventist Academy have traveling to various locations around the globe helping to build schools and churches. One question that is often asked is about the impact of these trips on the lives of the students who participate.
The primary purpose of this project will examine the overall missions program at Auburn Adventist Academy in order to be more effective at producing a climate that encourages spiritual growth and impact. In order to be able to better understand what factors and activities have the most influence, the students who participated in the March 2002, short-term mission trip to Paso Canoas, Costa Rica were to serve as a test group. They were asked to respond to surveys before leaving on their short-term mission trip and after returning from the trip. These two surveys helped to identify the factors that had the most impact on the lives of the students.
Some of the initial findings include the importance of friendships for spiritual development, personal experience and involvement strengthening a further commitment to missions involvement, and church participation years later as a result of mission trip participation.