by Anna Grace Galkin, Student Public Relations Writer
ND Nguyen, a second-year pharmacy student from Vietnam, will lead a medical mission trip for Cedarville University Global Outreach to serve the refugee population in Clarkston, Georgia, during spring break 2022.
The Cedarville spring break trip is scheduled for March 5-12.
The team will divide its time among multiple populations, including the Nepalese, Somalis, the Rohingya from Myanmar, and Afghans. All have made Clarkston their new home.
For Nguyen, going to Clarkston is a return to his extended family’s beginnings in the U.S. He grew up hearing his aunt and uncle describe their own flight from Vietnam as refugees to America during the Vietnam War.
Exposed from an early age to displaced people groups, Nguyen understood the difficulties of trying to live in a foreign nation. However, it became even more personal when he moved to America as a foreign exchange high school student.
It was through his host parents, who are Cedarville graduates, that Nguyen learned about Cedarville University. He soon decided to apply and continue living abroad during his college years.
Knowing that his Vietnamese passport could complicate the ability to travel internationally for missions opportunities, Nguyen began looking for opportunities to use his medical training to serve international people groups within the states. And that is when he decided to go to Clarkston in 2018.
“Often, God starts working through the eyes,” Nguyen explained. “Once you see people personally, you start to gain a heart for them.”
Nguyen began leading the team to Clarkston in 2019, and has returned every year since.
While in Clarkston, the team has visited various cultural sites and attended sessions with former Muslims and Hindus to learn more about their cultures.
“During one of our trips, I was able to talk with a Muslim religious leader who was pursuing a Ph.D. in physics,” Nguyen said. “Through it, I learned how to better serve Muslims during Ramadan.”
Conversations like these have equipped Nguyen and his team members to be culturally aware as they have volunteered at a local medical clinic, served as teachers’ assistants and custodians in the local school or set up COVID vaccine clinics at the height of the pandemic.
"God brings the unreached peoples from around the globe to the United States so that we can reach them,” Nguyen said. “We don't have to go very far to have a Gospel impact to the nations."
This will be Nguyen’s fourth trip to Clarkston. And though he has sometimes felt underqualified as a leader, he has learned that God can work the best in those moments.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,715 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.