Fox Chapel grad embarks on global career of ministering to those in need
For Regis Grumbaugh, summer vacation means something a little different compared to other young adults.
On June 16, Grumbaugh, 19, packed two suitcases and a backpack, left his home in Sharpsburg and boarded a plane to Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi, for a two-week mission trip in Africa with an international organization focused on preaching the gospel.
In July, he will leave to embark on his second year of ministry school.
“I've ministered to people here who live in a shelter and have close to nothing, but I just want to continue to do more,” Grumbaugh said. “I want to be cultured and I don't want to keep assuming things, I want to go and do it.”
After graduating from Fox Chapel Area High School in 2017, Grumbaugh chose to attend Northeast Ministry School, a school in Glenshaw with a nine-month program focused on preparing people to become pastors and missionaries.
“I realized at 13 that I didn't know what I was going to do in life, but that it probably wasn't going to be something normal,” Grumbaugh said
Grumbaugh participated in street outreach, attended church services and ministered on crowded street corners in Africa. He also joined tens of thousands of missionaries and locals who gathered for Signs and Wonders Festivals.
“All these people we meet during the day we will have the chance to see them at these huge festivals gathering probably 60,000 people,” Grumbaugh said.
Grumbaugh lived in a tent for the two-week stay with only a backpack of personal belongings. Two additional suitcases were stuffed with sunscreen, pencils, paper, school supplies and shoes and clothes to give to the children he met.
After returning home for less than a month, Grumbaugh will pack his bags once again, but this time for an year in Sweden where he will study under a pastor and volunteer with refugee centers.
“It's about church structure and church leadership, and it's specifically for those who want to become pastors,” Grumbaugh said.
His mother, Carol Grumbaugh, realized her son's special gift when he was involved with the Pittsburgh Dream Center, a homeless ministry. Grumbaugh and other people walked around the city once a week reaching out to the homeless and offering help.
“I thought, wow, he really helped turn things around for these people and made me realize he really does have something special going on here,” Carol Grumbaugh said.
Christine Manganas is a freelance writer.