Professor Eric Straw led a group of three Corban business majors to Nairobi, Kenya and returned on Feb. 12. Jordan Keck, Ben Funkhouser, and Kevin Straw worked on software that will provide a human resources management system for Bible Translation and Literacy (BTL), the Kenyan division of Wycliffe Bible Translation.
Since the beginning of the year, the group has been working on the software, which will help keep track of data and enable more efficient communication designed for low-bandwidth internet. Traveling to Nairobi allowed Keck, Funkhouser and Straw to show BTL what they have worked on so far, gain their feedback and create a plan for continuing the development of the software in order to have a fully functional version by the end of this semester.
Funkhouser said the trip allowed him to grow in many ways as well. He enjoyed getting to meet the leaders of BTL and fellowship with them as Christians, while also getting to hear of their passion for the work they are doing.
“The trip taught me many, many things,” Funkhouser said. “But most importantly I came away with the realization that God has placed us each somewhere in the world with unique talents, gifts, and privileges. Like the parable of the talents, we are simply called to be faithful with what God has given us, wherever we are, and wherever He may lead us.”
He said the trip also taught him that Americans need to realize how materially blessed they are compared to the rest of the world.
“We have so many privileges — even just the opportunity to go to college is huge,” Funkhouser said. “As a result, we need to seriously ask ourselves why God has given us these opportunities. We have a responsibility to be good stewards of what He has given us and not take them for granted.”
Professor Straw said he enjoyed “watching the students be both challenged and encouraged. I got to introduce the students to a wide variety of experiences…it is exciting to watch the students struggle, process, and change based on their experiences.”
Keck said the trip was necessary as a part of the Corban Consulting Partners senior thesis project, but it was a mission opportunity as well. He felt the trip was beneficial in many ways for both the development of the project as well as for personal growth.
“I am blessed to be engaged as of New Year’s Eve, and during the trip I seemed to better understand my future role as a provider, a comforter, a protector, a lover, and a friend,” Keck said. “I will certainly be continuing to learn and implement these lessons into my relationship with my soon-to-be wife.”
While the trip was mainly for the purpose of meeting with BTL, the students had time for recreational activities. They visited a giraffe center, ate crocodile at the Carnivore restaurant in Nairobi and toured the city of Amsterdam, where they were able to walk on frozen canals.
“The major highlight of the trip for me was widening my grasp on how marvelous and cohesive God’s plan is to make Himself known around the world and the range of people He uses to accomplish pieces of that plan,” Keck said.
The students raised their own support to go on the trip, but they are still working to get the remaining funds. To learn more about the project, read updates, see pictures or donate to support the trip, check out the group’s blog at btl.onkoistudios.com.