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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Monday, June 24, 2024
The Echo

TWO is new and all about belonging

By Alyssa Roat | Echo

This year, Taylor World Outreach (TWO) is all new, with a new staff, a new team and a new theme: belong.

"When we sit at the table as a body of Christ, our question is not who sits where at the table," Director of Taylor World Outreach Chip Bii said. "It's who is not at the table."

Bii sees this year's theme as an active invitation not only for every member of TWO to have a sense of belonging, but also as an invitation to everyone around the world whom TWO impacts to belong in the kingdom of God, or, as he stated, to sit at the table.

According to TWO's mission statement, it exists to "educate, equip, and engage students to lead and serve like Christ."

Bii sees this as part of belonging to the global kingdom of God.

"The goal is not taking Jesus Christ to a place where there is no Christ, because God is already there and he is doing amazing work," Bii said. "We're helping students see what God is doing around the world."

TWO offers many opportunities to get involved, including Lighthouse trips and spring break trips. They also oversee global outreach opportunities, social justice programming, community outreach and events such as Empty Bowls.

Bii is especially excited to announce that instead of hosting one World Opportunities Week as TWO has in the past, this year, TWO will be hosting two a semester to bring in even more people and organizations.

But TWO isn't just globally focused, according to Jen McKim, the Community Outreach Coordinator.

"Often I feel like people tend to focus on missions as international or a big trip type picture," McKim said, "but they forget that missions can also be just right here around you."

"Our goal is to get students excited about working in the community. It can be really beneficial not just to your community, but to yourself. Our goal for this year is to figure out how to get students more excited about volunteer work not only in their community, here at Taylor, but also when they graduate and go into their own communities. It gives them a taste of that so they'll continue that work."

"The theme 'Belong' sums that up pretty well and as TWO we want to make sure that we are an active part of making our community have a sense of belonging as we strive to love others through the gospel," World Opportunities co-director Mallory Tyree said.

There are opportunities for varying degrees of commitment, from overseas trips, to weekly volunteering in Marion, to one-time projects, and students are encouraged to contact Bii and McKim to get involved.

TWO's first major event will center around the World Opportunities Speaker at chapel on September 28. After chapel, there will be coffee and a time to chat.

Bii and McKim both emphasized their desire to hear from students.

"If students have ideas, this is the space to discern what God is calling us to," Bii said.