When attending church as a child, Joshua Beebe ’12 would watch in amazement and wonder whenever missionaries would visit and share their experiences with the congregation. The diverse cultural experiences and worldly travels were opportunities that he always hoped to one day enjoy himself.
An Upper Iowa University business management graduate, Beebe took the first step toward fulfilling his lifetime dream in summer 2012. With the help of his adviser, Upper Iowa University Associate Professor of Management Redmond Humphrey, he scheduled a one-month internship with Adventures in Missions. Established in 1989, the interdenominational mission organization emphasizes prayer and relationships in its work amongst the poor.
Beebe’s first mission trip took him to Sumbawanga, Tanzania. For one month, the Independence, Iowa, native spent his time ministering, providing words of encouragement and helping with labor projects at a local church and orphanage.
“Once my experience in Tanzania was complete, I knew that I was going to pursue long-term missionary work,” Beebe said. “Not only are you able to build so many personal relationships, but it is so encouraging to see people overcome a variety of circumstances. Each of their hopes and dreams inspire me.”
After interning with Adventures in Missions, Beebe participated in the organization’s World Race. A journey to 11 countries in 11 months, the UIU alumnus provided mission work in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and Central America. Beebe noted the highlight of the experience was the month he spent at Sarah’s Covenant Homes (SCH) in India. He explained SCH is a community of family-style foster homes in India that care for children and young adults with medical and special needs.
“That month alone provided me with a lifetime of inspiration,” Beebe said. “The amount of love and compassion that can be shared among people from different countries has a definite impact on a person’s life. You come to realize that sometimes the most powerful thing in ministry is a group of believers sitting at the kitchen table.”
Beebe is now employed with the Gainesville, Georgia – based Adventures in Missions. In addition to the opportunity to travel a few weeks out of the year, his main role is to oversee ministries in 10 countries in South Africa. Whenever the opportunity arises, he also encourages people back home to make a positive impact on those around them.
Beebe stressed his pride in knowing that his alma mater has a long history in embracing international students. While attending UIU, he served as a tutor in the University’s ESL program and estimated that he spent time in and out of the classroom with students from a dozen countries.
“My UIU experience provided me the skills to effectively communicate, coordinate logistics, budget, and build professional and personal relationships,” he said. “I hope to continue inspiring other people as much as many of the UIU faculty, staff and students have inspired me.”
For additional information on Beebe’s experiences, follow his blog at joshuabeebe.myadventures.org.