Cedarville University engineering students and faculty continue to seek ways to apply their professional training to missions-related activities. To foster relationships with missionaries and to explore opportunities to serve, the department created the organization Society of Engineers Aiding Missions (SEAM). As a group, SEAM meets regularly to pray for missionaries, correspond with them, and even invite them in when available for special talks.
In the summer of 2008, Dr. Dave Gallagher, professor of computer science, led a five-member team to Romania, June 15 through July 1, to provide computer training to youth and adults in support of local churches. This was our sixth consecutive year to send a computer science team to Romania to work alongside Greater Europe Mission.
Each day, the team taught computer courses to nearby villages — one session in the mornings and one in the afternoons — and led a chapel time, during which they sang songs, gave testimonies, and presented the Gospel. During the two weeks, the team presented the Gospel to more than 100 students and ministered in four different worship services by preaching, singing, and giving testimonies.
The missionaries and pastors who worked with our team were very excited by the ministry. Evangelicals are not well thought of in the predominantly Eastern Orthodox culture, and our presence doing a technical ministry served to improve the reputation of the churches. We continued to establish strong relationships with both the missionaries and the pastors in the area and look forward to future ministry opportunities.
The Society of Engineers Aiding Missions (SEAM) at Cedarville University had another active school year in 2014–15. During the first semester, the group hosted presentations by students Ryan Frazier and Peter Haugh, who described their summer missions engineering internship with SIM in Burkina Faso, where they served in troubleshooting water distribution networks and designed appropriate agricultural processing equipment. There was also a Skype conversation with Cedarville mechanical engineering alumnus Elizabeth Flow of LIMBS International in Kenya; a joint ASME/SEAM Seminar on Engineering Missions Internships featuring Dale Harlan of SIM Water Ministry, Bolivia, and Cedarville engineering alumnus Jeremy Maller of Reach Beyond Radio Planting in West Africa; and Mark Vanderkooi, TEAM Bible translator to the Kwong people of Chad.
The second semester started with a well attended Technology in Missions Seminar (JAARS, LightSys, Reach Beyond, SIM, and TWR) moderated by SEAM President Ryan Frazier at Cedarville’s annual Missions Conference in January. Later in the semester SEAM meetings featured a Skype conversation with Cedarville mechanical engineering alumnus Cody Hall of SunSet Solutions describing his work designing, building, and installing progressive cavity deep well pump systems for remote locations and another Skype conversation with a Cedarville alumnus who is serving through engineering in Asia.
On many Saturdays and off-meeting Mondays, SEAM members worked diligently assembling and refining solar lights for Liberian church leaders. They were able to send 50 units with Paul Mitchell, who was invited to ELWA as a worker essential to install water purification equipment for the hospital and Ebola wards.
For a senior capstone design project, members endurance tested a user-buildable PVC hand pump that is being used by Bolivian farmers through the ministry of Dale Harlan of SIM. In addition, SEAM members traveled with the engineering Global Outreach team to Bolivia in May 2015 with Dale and Helen Harlan of SIM to test the performance of water pumps in the field, to observe other water development activities, and to experience Bolivian churches.
Opportunities to serve are not limited to areas directly related to a student's major. Many engineering students participate in other short-term missions projects organized through the Global Outreach division at Cedarville University. These projects literally span the globe and provide a world of opportunities. Several of our engineering graduates have even spent time in China teaching.