Trip to Orient Anything but Fun and Games

Courtesy Joe and Danielle Cook
WORLD TRAVELERS: Broken Arrow High School seniors Bailee Gilmore, left, and Sadie Cook share a common bond of helping spread the Word of God around the world. Gilmore recently returned from a mission outing to Peru and Cook will devote much of her Christmas break this year to working with orphans in Vietnam.

Contributing Editor
Broken Arrow High School Senior Sadie Cook is spending a good part of her Christmas break in the Orient this year. But make no mistake, this trip is anything but fun and sight-seeing.
The daughter of Pastor Joe and Danielle Cook, Sadie is a veteran of overseas mission trips having visited Haiti and Vietnam previously. In that regard she shares a special bond with her best friend and fellow BAHS Senior Bailee Gilmore. The daughter of David Gilmore and Amber and Dixie Pebworth, she recently returned from a mission trip to Peru and hopes to return in 2020.
Cook is the only high schooler among 15-20 students from the University of California at Los Angeles who departed for Vietnam as part of a holiday trip sponsored by Chi Alpha Campus Ministries. An outreach fellowship affiliated with the Assemblies of God, it was founded in 1953 at Missouri State University and is now on more than 300 campuses across the U.S. and around the world.
Cook said she and her teammates originally intended to spend 15 days in Haiti assisting in an expectant mothers’ program and distributing food, clothing, sanitary items and medical supplies for children in an orphanage operated by the outreach. However, for the second straight year because of the high level of violence and danger there the State Department refused to authorize their travel documents necessitating a quick change of plans and a return visit to Ho Chi Minh City.
“I am disappointed,” Cook said, “yet I am excited to have the opportunity to go back and continue building existing relationships and forging new ones. Sharing God’s love with the people of Vietnam is such a privilege. My trip there this summer was life-changing and I am expecting nothing less from this trip.”
The benefits to the people being visited are obvious, but both girls insist they receive as much if not more than they give.
“It is an unbelievably special feeling knowing we are able to answer God’s calling and help people who need it so much,” Cook said.
Gilmore agreed noting, “These trips are real learning experiences because they give us a new perspective of the world and a much greater appreciation for all we have here at home.”
As for the future, even with the demands of college life likely on the horizon, both girls say they fully intend to remain true to their missions calling. Where that may take them, they don’t know – or seem to care.
“We are open to go wherever the need is the greatest,” Cook said.