CU Servant Leaders travel for spring break ministry opportunities

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Christina L. Kern

Campbellsville University

Nearly 50 Campbellsville University students, faculty and staff members sacrificed spring break for ministry opportunities in Haiti, Florida, New York and Guatemala.

Two groups went to Haiti, one being the School of Nursing. This was the third medical mission trip to Haiti for the School of Nursing.

Angie Atwood, assistant professor of nursing, said the team served about 1,500 Haitians in three days of medical clinics, 40 children at an orphanage and witnessed 19 Haitians come to know Jesus.

Lauren Barr, a sophomore from Brandenburg, found God used her in a different way. Barr found Dave, an orphan who has been sick for a long time and needs surgery. The orphanage doesn't have money for him to get the surgery or the medicine he needs.

Barr said her heart was breaking for the little boy.

"He doesn't have a family. He is sick, and there is no one to take care of him. There's no one there for him," she said. "When my heart was breaking for this little boy, I remembered how God healed mine. I remember the day I never really felt like anyone loved me, and God showed me just how much I was. God told me to love this little boy with all my heart, to give him the little bit of love I know how to show so that he would know a little bit of how his heavenly father loves him."

Barr left the clinic with vomit on her clothes, tears on her face and a changed heart.

"I had to walk away from Dave, he but got to keep my heart."

A second CU mission team served in Neply, Haiti, a small village about 25 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince. The team worked with myLIFEspeaks, a mission organization that works to identify needs in the community, address them in an immediate way and also make a long-term prevention plan.

They also worked with Redemption 72:14 working with children in an after-school program. The program pays for their schooling, feeds them, assists with homework, plays games and shares the gospel with them.

Savannah Workman, a freshman from Fort Gay, W.Va., said, "It broke my heart but also gave me hope that these children will be able to overcome oppression and find ultimate freedom in Christ. God showed me despite destitution, pain and everything bad in life, there is beauty. Everyone has an inner beauty [potential and hope] which God sees."

Two groups also went to Florida, one to Panama City for Beach Reach and the second a group of football players for prison ministry in Central Florida.

Students in Panama City witnessed to college students on spring break, offered free van rides to those unable to drive and free unlimited pancakes in the morning.

Fontez Hill, a freshman from LaCenter, said Beach Reach as a whole that week provided 4,140 plates of pancakes and 4,322 van rides throughout the week resulting in 27 salvations and 10 lives rededicated to Christ.

Alexa Moore, a junior from Clarksville, Tenn., wrote on her blog, "I had no idea what to say to these people, all I had was my story and Christ's love."

She said Christ followers are called to "engage with the people of the world" and share the love of Christ with everyone just like Jesus did.

Moore said God convicted her.

"If I can go to Panama City Beach and tell spring breakers about Jesus, why can't I do it on my own campus with the people who I know need to hear it? I have class with some of these people every day, what is stopping me from telling them something that will change their life? Nothing."

Members of CU's football team shared the love of Christ in prisons throughout Central Florida through the game of softball.

Jim Hardy, assistant head football coach, said the team was blessed by the inmates' stories, many who will never get out of prison. One inmate had been in prison for 22 years and was 16 days away from release, but was "scared about what he would do when he re-entered society," Hardy said.

Another inmate was spared of his life, 16 hours before being put to death on death row. Since he was spared, he has been faithful in sharing his testimony for many years. The team also met Gilbert Fernandez, on whom the book "Danger Road" is based on his life and transformation.

The team led a service at Sumpter Correctional Institution for the entire inmate population and was able to share testimonies, bring a message and see men respond to follow Christ. Hardy said, "It was such an unbelievable presence of the spirit as we worshiped with the inmates."

He said the team was "constantly reminded of how blessed we are and just how many people are out there in the world hurting deeply and need to know the love of Christ."

Four CU students ministered in New York City at Urban Impact working with English as a Second Language students. They worked with a henna ministry to offer women temporary henna tattoos, a traditional sign of beauty in Middle Eastern countries.

Meg Brown, a sophomore from Russellville, said, "Our way of sharing the gospel was presented in the meaning behind each tattoo design."

The Guatemala mission team worked with Prince of Peace Orphanage for Girls. Ed Pavy, director of campus ministries who went on the trip, said, "Prince of Peace is a place where the girls have been given hope for their future. How appropriate it is named for our savior."

The team also installed a stove in a widow's home. Graduate student and campus ministries intern Charity Powell said, "Marta had been cooking in her home without any ventilation so she was breathing in smoke every time she cooked."

The team installed a new stove with a vent pipe and used a lava rock, which allows her to use less wood and allow the stove to stay hot longer.

The Guatemala team put James 1:27 into action, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress."

For more information on spring break mission trips at Campbellsville University, contact Ed Pavy, director of campus ministries, at 789-5227 or ecpavy@campbellsville.edu.