Kendra Gregory ('10) | Agricultural & Environmental Sciences

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Environmental Science
and Spanish major
from Pittsburgh, Penn.

Earlier this summer, Kendra was blessed with the opportunity to attend the Tropical Agriculture and Missions course that is offered by ECHO (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization).  ECHO is a Christian organization dedicated to offering technical and research support to agricultural missionaries and international development workers.  Their main focus is to assist in the networking of missionaries and development workers as well as help to disseminate relevant technical information in the areas that it is most needed.  ECHO has a small research farm and library in Fort Myers, FL.

I believe their participation was one of my favorite things about the class because I was able to learn from the experiences of so many missionaries and be encouraged by God's work abroad.

This course brought individuals together from a variety of universities, backgrounds and experiences.  This large diversity in a class of 14, allowed those in attendance to become more globally minded and grow as people.  About half of the class had some scientific training at the university level, while many were actually missions majors.  Kendra also had the distinct pleasure of having a few missionaries participate in the class as well.  “I believe their participation was one of my favorite things about the class because I was able to learn from the experiences of so many missionaries and be encouraged by God's work abroad.”

The three week course involved such topics as sustainable tropical agriculture, tropical fruits, plant taxonomy, soil microbiology, appropriate technologies and approaches to development work.  It was an intensive class with plenty of studying, lectures and lab activities.  However, Kendra still had some down time to interact and learn from other participants.  For example, the weekend trips to Fort Myers beach to swim and relax.

This experience has truly been a dream comes true for Kendra.  She had first heard of ECHO as a student in high school and prayed that God would give her the opportunity to go there someday.  By God's great grace and supreme sense of timing, she had this incredible opportunity to learn and network with others who share her desire to help the poor through scientific research.  Kendra highly recommends this experience to anyone who has a desire to be an agricultural missionary.

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