Tim writing a song at a teen club in South Africa.
In July, Tim Wildsmith ('05) took an opportunity to travel to Cape Town, South Africa on a University Ministries mission trip. Tim went on one UM Spring Break mission trip to Boston as a student and loved his experience. Then, in March he had the opportunity to host a team of students at his home in Omaha on their way to and from the UM Spring Break mission trip to South Dakota. At that time, he reconnected with University Ministries and the opportunity to travel as a chaperone for the trip in July was presented to him.
He, three Belmont students and one UM staff person traveled to Cape Town to work with an organization called Living Hope (www.livinghope.co.za) who provide support and care to people living with AIDS as well as life-skills education for children to help prevent them from contracting AIDS. Tim and the group worked in a township called Ocean View, where they worked with children for a week at a Holiday Club ("think Vacation Bible School on steroids in a third-world country").
Tim's favorite part of the trip was just being able to get away from his responsibilities and the craziness of his life in Omaha. "I found that I was able to connect with Jesus in a way that I've been missing for a long time. My heart was turned upside down, but I'm more and more convinced that it was really upside down before...and now it's right side up. Perhaps it took going nearly halfway around the world to love on some poor children for God to get my heart back to where it needed to be."
Tim is already trying to figure out how he can make another trip and thinks other alumni need to explore opportunities to make these trips too. "Go! I think if you have the mindset of going and just giving your life away for the cause then you'll find that God will do incredible things through you and in you."
"When I was at Belmont the mantra was "From Here to Anywhere." That was laughable a couple of years ago when I was slinging lattes at Starbucks, but I whispered to myself a few times as I experienced the beauty of Cape Town. I have to give credit to God first and foremost for getting me there, but I sure am thankful to be part of the Belmont family too."
Tim Wildsmith ('05) in South Africa sporting his Belmont Reusable Shopping Bag!