Campbellsville University students spend spring break on mission

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'Things don't always work out, but God works it out.'

By Christina Miller

Campbellsville University students shared testimonies of their spring break mission trips during Oasis, the weekly Baptist Campus Ministry meeting at Campbellsville University recently on the first day back to classes.

Missions to Costa Rica, Florida, Dearborn, Mich., a road trip around Kentucky, and a road trip around the South, came down to one theme, "Things don't always work out, but God works it out."

A team of men hiked through Costa Rica to reach the "unreachable" villages and witness to the people there. Because of the 110-degree temperature and having to hike for so long, one of the team members got sick.

Ed Pavy, director of campus ministries, led the trip.

Logan Hazelwood, a junior from Salvisa, Ky., said, "It took us a long time to hike to the villages; people were dropping like flies. But, once we finally got there it was awesome. Getting there was a gift from God... to see the smiles on kids' faces."

Campbellsville University football players and coaches visited six maximum security prison facilities in Florida and had the opportunity to visit the Youth Challenge Center of Florida, a last step camp for drug offenders.

Jim Hardy, assistant football coach, led the team to Florida for the second year and said, "The trip is always a blessing to me because I get to watch the football players bring a blessing to the inmates they minister to."

The team played softball with the inmates and shared their testimonies and the gospel message in between games. Through their efforts in the prisons, 167 inmates made decisions to follow Christ.

Calvin Bini, a junior from Radcliff, Ky., said it was a spiritual revival for football team members on the trip.

"I realized we need to bring that back for the team and exemplify Christ in our lives to tune in to our mission with the football team here, all day, every day."

Another team traveled to Dearborn, Mich., where their goal was to reach Muslims living in the area. Dearborn has the highest population of Muslims and the largest mosque in North America.

Kristina Wallace of Hopkinsville, Ky. said she has a heart for Muslims.

"Islam focuses on family... they do everything together. If one of the family were to convert to Christianity, it's basically decided they are no longer a part of the family."

The team spent their time in churches ministering to the needs of those people who have been thrown out, and ministering to their Muslim families.

Another team went on a road trip across Kentucky called GPS sponsored by the Kentucky Baptist Convention. CU students met up with other college students from across the state and didn't know where they would be ministering next, they just followed where their GPS told them to go.

Kim Baker, a junior from Louisville, said, "We had no idea where we were going. It was neat to see and trust that God had a plan in what we did."

Every day of the mission trip, the team spent a half-day with Find it Here, an effort to invite everyone in Kentucky to church for Easter Sunday.

Deborah Dean, a junior from Rising Sun, Md., said, "I felt God was telling us no matter how small the task, it's beneficial for God's purpose. It seemed pointless and repetitive at first, but we noticed God working because churches already had calls coming in about people wanting to come to church."

A group of five men went on a road trip around the South - what they called "Man Trip 2010." This team traveled to Atlanta, Ga., Charleston, S.C. and Gainesville, Fla.

The day before leaving for the mission trip, their contact in Atlanta canceled on them, leaving the team without a plan for the first day of the trip. But God called them to do park ministry.

Kenton Hallinan, a junior from Louisville, said, "From the moment we set foot in Atlanta, even when everything else didn't work out, God still had a plan. We ministered where we didn't expect to."

In Charleston, the team worked in a food bank sorting through thousands of cans. The food bank they worked at is one of 30 in the United States, and last year it put together 14 million meals for the South Carolina area. The team's work equaled 1,500 meals.

In Gainesville the team served meals to the homeless and helped put together medical care packages for Haiti.

Alan Haven, a junior from Shelbyville, Ky., said, "Maybe what we did didn't equal much, but God will make it fruitful and he will move."

Christina Miller is a student news writer at Campbellsville University.