“A one-week service trip affected the trajectory of the next three years of my life, maybe even more. My third year of college I went on a service trip to Madrid with Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship at the University of Virginia. During my time there, I saw and appreciated the strategy of the work and the authentic relational investment of the workers there. I decided to come back for a 7-month internship and then again for a two-year term. A short-term trip gave me the window I needed to see what God was doing in Europe and I knew I wanted to be a part of it!”
- DEBBIE A.
“Community development has a very special place in my heart, and I found this to be true of the work that is being done in Madrid. On multiple occasions I witnessed the great importance and value given to weaving both inclusion and cohesion between staff, families, and community involvement in culturally sensitive projects. Through Ariel’s leadership and guidance (mentorship) I found that she is intentional about creating a freedom for vulnerability, safety, and learning to take place. I left Madrid empowered not just from my own personal gain but knowing that community development programs like Oasis Center, for example, represent a place for refugees, immigrants, asylum seekers, short-term teams, interns, volunteers and anyone in the community. No one is marginalized, but instead each have an equal space to share, to give their input and take an active role, to speak their heart language and be proud of their respective cultures within the community of Madrid. This is their home; it’s is my home now, and their families are my family too.”