About OLu Missions

Core Concepts

  1. Mission Statement/Purpose: To help students internalize the gospel message of salvation in Christ Jesus.
  2. Vision: To train global believers:  Those who are planted by God in a God-honoring career and represent Christ there but never lose sight of what God is doing around the World.
  3. Values:
    • To explicitly focus on growth in Christ in everything that we do.
    • To build the body of Christ:  A community of believers that through growth in Jesus learn to trust, respect, and honor each other.

Our Philosophy of Missions

List of 3 items.

  • Our Vision Explained

    “Global Believer” is a term we coined more than a decade ago to put a name to that which we saw God calling the students of the Orange Lutheran Missions Program.  As a result of their time with us, we want our students to recognize the extraordinary opportunity they have to serve God with their lives. A global believer is one who responds to God’s call to serve Him in every way including with their career.  Every believer should see their life as service to Christ. The “global” aspect of it comes from the fact that we expose our students to what God is doing in other cultures. We introduce them to their current and future brothers and sisters in Christ believing that this will imprint the work God is doing around the world on their brains.  And they will continue to be involved in this work through participating, supporting, or praying for it.

    The OLu Missions Program sees missions opportunities as one effective way for our students to encounter God and be drawn into a deeper relationship with Him while blessing the neighborhoods in which we serve.  Serving together and serving one another has led to the creation of a community of believers who love in a way that is infective draws others to Jesus, and the cycle repeats. A new group serves together and creates a Christ-centered community that draws others to Him.  We believe that “the Church”, as the Body of Christ, should be the most attractive entity on the planet. People should be drawn to it uncontrollably.

    Serving on a mission is not simply for those that go on the trips. Not hardly. We go expecting God to use us in the lives of others. To be sure, we aren’t going to transform a community by building a house and having a few spiritual conversations over the course of a weekend (unless God decides to do something crazy!), but we desire to impact others for Christ and inspire them to continue in God’s work. With this in mind, our focus in our efforts to serve others is twofold: encouraging others (believers and nonbelievers alike) with the hope of Christ and empowering them with the resources and training to find God’s calling on their life and live it out. It is very important for us that we not simply give “hand-outs” to those we minister to. Instead, research has shown that it is far more beneficial to give a “hand up” and help others stand on their own. Through this approach, we can avoid unnecessary dependence and foster an attitude of responsibility and independence in those with whom we work.

    Lastly, we are more than aware that we do not engage in mission work knowing all the answers. We rely heavily on local ministries and churches in the areas that we serve. Clearly, the local people, particularly local Christians, know how to minister best in their community.  Our goal is to partner with existing ministries and support them in their ongoing work. Similarly, on a deeper level, we understand that God’s work in a given location is advancing before we arrive and will continue long after we are gone. We are simply a link in a very long chain of His work. Beyond this, we understand that our culture and our ways of understanding and living out the Christian life are far from perfect. Other cultures and Christian communities around the world have much to teach us. More often than not we feel that we learn more about God and the Christian life from those we serve than they learn from us. In any case, mutual blessings abound in God’s economy, and we love being a part of blessing others and feeling blessed at the same time.
  • The Ministry

    At Orange Lutheran, we believe that hearts are touched and lives are changed through serving others. Our thriving Missions Program includes six trips annually, three classes, on-campus ministries, local outreach, and hundreds of students, faculty, and parent volunteers who faithfully travel across the globe serving others and sharing God’s love and the saving grace message of salvation through Jesus Christ. Since its inception in 2000, nearly 6,000 participants have served over 370,000 hours on 41 international and 36 domestic mission trips in 17 countries on six continents. Orange Lutheran students regularly serve in many meaningful ways including construction projects, disaster relief, elder care, children’s clinics, tutoring, Bible studies, and evangelism. These experiences provide them with opportunities to learn techniques for most effectively working across cultural, religious, and national boundaries. Mission trips also foster positive mental health and well-being and increase compassion, empathy, and caring as our students serve others. In the process of being used by God to touch hearts throughout the world, our students’ lives continue to be profoundly impacted.
  • Conclusion

    We have seen God do amazing work in and through our students by way of their involvement in the Missions Program. We believe this is due to students being exposed to God’s ministry here and abroad. There is nothing magical about mission activities; they are one way the work of God becomes evident in our lives. When we are participants in God’s action, our lives are changed. This can occur when we are put in situations where we are “forced” to see the people and cultures of the world differently. The Lutheran High School Missions Program strives to provide opportunities for this to happen.

    Our program is multi-faceted with many different options for student involvement. We intentionally offer options with varying levels of commitment because we want to give all students the opportunity to serve in some capacity. Furthermore, there are no prerequisites for any Missions trip or event. We understand each aspect of our program to be a beneficial and worthwhile service pursuit, regardless of whether students are going on a trip, enrolled in the Missions class, or simply recycling bottles and cans after school. Finally, we also encourage parent, family and alumni involvement on any of our trips, on our local outreach partnership events, or volunteering their expertise in any way to support our program (e.g. financial/accounting, construction, networking, etc).

Program History

In 2000, Orange Lutheran teacher Mark Maietta’s long-time dream of taking students on short-term mission trips materialized when he took his Construction Management class to Mexico for a weekend to build a home for a family in need. News of the trip grew, leading to another trip -- this time, open to all OLu students -- the following year. By 2003, a need for an annual Mexico trip became apparent. The fledgling OLu Missions Program was born.

After the trips to Mexico, the students who participated found themselves missing the community that they experienced in the mission field. As a result, several students decided to host regular lunch meetings for participants to reconnect with each other. The new Missions Club grew to host outreach events and service initiatives such as Cell Phones for Soldiers, Promise Child, a recycling program, and more.

In 2010, the Missions Club evolved into what is now the Missions Class and the Missions Program. This class deepens students’ understanding and knowledge of evangelical ministry and missionary work. Over the years, the class has proven incredibly important for brainstorming, planning, and promoting Missions events, along with providing students and staff with helpful and practical insights about missions.

Since the initial inception of the Missions Program in 2000, we have grown exponentially in the number of trips that are available to students, their parents, alumni, faculty and staff. Our international trips have included Mexico, Romania, India, China, Ethiopia, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, and more. Our domestic offerings have also grown with the addition of an annual trip to Appalachia, the poorest region in the country, and two annual Native American Reservation Trip (NART) opportunities to help the Paiute Nation in Bishop, CA. 

In addition to annual trips, we also assemble teams as needed for emergency disaster relief in partnership with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and local churches. OLu Missions aided with recovery efforts following the devastation in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, as well as in Joplin, Missouri after a catastrophic tornado hit the town in 2011. In 2017 and 2019, more than 150 Orange Lutheran alumni and students helped restore homes in Houston and Galveston, Texas, that were destroyed by Hurricane Harvey.

The Lord continues to bless the OLu Missions Program. Every trip is different and allows for new and exciting experiences for students and all who participate. One thing that will never change, however, is the work that God continues to do for and through this program and through the lives of our students and those we serve in the name of Jesus Christ.

Talk to Us

List of 7 members.

Find Us

2222 N. Santiago Blvd.
Orange, CA 92867
(714) 998-5151

Who We Are

Founded in 1973, Orange Lutheran High School is a comprehensive private Christian co-educational college preparatory high school, grades 9-12, that exists to help students internalize the gospel message of salvation in Christ Jesus.

Orange Lutheran High School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.