Marshall students share beliefs during mission trip to East Asia

A culture shock of people being sheltered and closed-off awaited several Marshall students during a mission trip with Cru to East Asia this summer.

Alexander Khoury, a member of Cru and a participant of the mission trip, said the main purpose of the mission trip was to reach out to people and tell them about Christianity, despite some people in that area not knowing what Christianity is. 

“A lot of people do not know about Christianity in places like East Asia, in comparison to places like the United States,” Khoury said.  “It is astounding that in some areas, people can live by Christianity and can surround themselves with Christian people, but in other areas of the world, many people have never even heard of it. This reason alone made me want to go on this mission trip.  People should at least have the opportunity to seek Christianity and know what it is about.”

Spencer Cochran, a Marshall student who attended the mission trip, said that many people in East Asia are expected to not have a religion.

“Most of the people in East Asia are atheists not because of beliefs, but because of what the government tells them,” Cochran said.  “That area of the world is very sheltered in terms of religion. During school, they get told there is no God, get told to stay away from religion, the whole nine yards.” 

Cochran said the exclusion of religion in East Asia brought some difficult situations in regards to spreading Christianity. 

“During the mission trip, most people get scared when Christianity was brought up,” Cochran said.  “People there were a lot more closed off.  They tried to avoid it whenever it was brought up in conversation, or sometimes we were even shut down.”

Cochran said that despite some of the tough situations that the members of the mission trip faced, some of the people in East Asia were willing to speak to the student group.

“There was one incident where one gentleman talked to us and wanted to know more and more about religion and Christianity as a whole,” Cochran said.  “The further the conversation got, the more interested he became.  Those moments are the ones that are really enlightening. Overall, the ones that wanted to be reached out to made up for the ones that shut it down. Mission trips are all about spreading Christianity, so the fact that we got to reach out to some people in East Asia made it all worth it.”

Aaron Dickens can be contacted at