Marshall students share religious beliefs during mission trip to the Middle East


Brooke Howerton

Cru member and Marshall University student Brooke Howerton on a mission trip to the Middle East over the summer.

While some people may question the safety of traveling to the Middle East, some Marshall University students who participated in a mission trip during the summer said they never felt like they were in danger. 

“I felt safer in some cities in the Middle East than I do in Huntington,” said Brooke Howerton, a member of Campus Crusade for Christ who went to the Middle East for a mission trip. “My friends experienced the same thing when they went on the same mission trip years back. All of us felt safe throughout the entirety of the mission trip.  There was not one time where I felt unsafe or threatened. In Huntington, I worry about my safety a lot to where I cannot even walk alone at nighttime.”

Howerton said that this is not an insult about Huntington but rather a compliment to the Middle East.  

“Before going on the mission trip, I was not even nervous,” Howerton said.  “Many of the people I know who have gone there before me said the Middle East was safe, so my expectations for the safety there was met.”

Howerton said some of the differences between beliefs in the Middle East and the U.S. include some people in the Middle East believe that Jesus is the prophet, while some people in the U.S. believe he is the savior. 

“The people I talked to in the Middle East knew what God and Christian beliefs were,” Howerton said.  “However, some of them never invested their time into a relationship with that religion.”

Despite some people not being invested into Christianity in the Middle East, Howerton said that people in the Middle East were very interested in talking about Christianity.

“In the Middle East, that’s the thing that stood out to me the most, was that people were so eager and more than willing to discuss Christianity with me,” Howerton said.  “Only one out of the many people I talked to pushed me away.”

Howerton said that despite there being a history of bad blood with the U.S. and the Middle East,  the culture there was one of the most welcoming cultures she has been affiliated with.  

“I felt like it was so much easier to share my beliefs and reach out to people in the Middle East compared to the United States,” Howerton said.  “The United States is such a hush-hush organization in regards to religion, but in the Middle East, people welcomed me with open arms to talk with them.”

Aaron Dickens can be contacted at [email protected].