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Campbellsville University students are making plans to travel far and wide over Christmas break, not only to go home but to serve on mission trips to Haiti, Costa Rica, New York City, Texas, Missouri and possibly Florida.
A trip to Haiti is scheduled for Jan. 4-14. This trip, led by Baptist Campus Ministry intern Trent Creason, a 2008 graduate of Campbellsville University, and Angie Atwood, instructor in nursing at CU, serves as a medical mission trip for several students from the School of Nursing.
The nursing group plans to be in Haiti for six days and have four days of medical clinic where they will serve about 450 ill people per day, according to Atwood. The group will perform health assessments and providing treatment to adults and children with various ailments.
Atwood said, "Students and faculty are thrilled to have the opportunity to provide nursing services and minister God's word with those individuals suffering in Haiti. During this trip we will be working with orphans, providing medical services, and spreading the word of God through crusades. Our hearts go out to those children who walk around homeless, hungry, suffering from illness, and without much hope."
Creason said the group will work with minister Ken Bolin, who is from Manchester, Ky. Bolin has traveled to Haiti 36 times and has a well established ministry in Haiti.
Creason said, "The trip will involve a myriad of ministry opportunities including a medical clinic (including activities for the children waiting for family members), daily worship services, visiting orphanages, possible sports clinics, VBS opportunities, possible food distribution and construction."
A second trip to Haiti is being planned by Logan Hazelwood, a senior at CU from Salvisa, Ky.
He is taking a house ministry Bible study group led by CU students, including CU student/athletes who began the student athlete Bible study on campus last year.
This second group going to Haiti plans to do construction on houses through the International Mission Board.
Ed Pavy, campus minister, is taking students to Costa Rica with a group from Campbellsville Baptist Church.
Campbellsville University students have traveled to Costa Rica on several mission trips in the past through a partnership with Bill and Linda Egbert, missionaries in Costa Rica who also graduated from Campbellsville University.
Two groups will switch out over Christmas break, one going Dec. 31-Jan. 8, and the other Jan. 7-15. Some will stay the entire two weeks.
During their time in Costa Rica, the groups are scheduled to put in a kitchen/Sunday school room that will serve as housing corridors for the pastor to spend the night.
"Right now, Pastor Jose walks 2 1/2 to 3 hours down the mountain to preach and pastor the people, then he hikes right back at night," Pavy said.
The second week they will upgrade a restroom facility to fit government standards on accessibility. The group will build a sewer, drain lines and septic tank, "all by hand without a back hoe or concrete mixer."
The New York City group will work with The Journey Church, which has multiple campuses in New York City.
Micah White, a senior from Louisville, Ky., went on a trip to NYC last year and is leading this year's trip. He said the group will serve in the community every day passing out water and food and inviting people to church.
White said, "NYC is a place that is always on my heart. I feel called to do ministry there. It's a place where you can reach all kinds of people from so many different backgrounds. It's a place where everyone in the group will have their own personal experiences. The main thing is building relationships and leaving an impact on the people we meet. Love God and love people: that is what we are called to do, and that's exactly what we are going to do in NYC."
In Arlington, Texas, a group of CU students will serve at Mission Arlington's Christmas Store, a ministry that gives out Christmas presents to families for their children, free of charge.
Deborah Dean, a senior from Rising Sun, Md., and leader of the trip, said, "It's awesome to see how many people donate thousands of brand new toys to be given out for free ... Most of the people who come in and get gifts say the gifts they get for free are the only things their children will be getting for Christmas."
Most of the families assisted through the Christmas Store have been working people who simply could not absorb the added expenses of the holiday season.
During their time in Arlington, students will help families in need shop for gifts to give to their children Christmas morning. Everyone who goes to the store is also told the true Christmas story in both English and Spanish, so they have an opportunity to hear about God's love and then see it through the gifts they are receiving.
Maribeth Milburn, a sophomore from Lawrenceburg, Ky., went over the summer to Missouri and said "the kids just grabbed my heart; the need in this community is so great."
So, Milburn decided a Christmas break mission trip should be taken to Charleston, Mo. Milburn said 50 percent of the people in the town live at or below poverty level.
The CU group will work with Shining Light Ministries, working with inner-city children. Before leaving for the trip, the group plans on holding a food drive to help supply the food pantry in Charleston.
During the day in Missouri, the group will work in the food pantry and clothes closet, as well as doing other random acts of kindness in the community. In the afternoon, the group will host a mini Vacation Bible School for the children, and provide the children with tutoring and a meal.
"All of these children know someone who has been killed," Milburn said. "These kids have been through a lot and we are going to show them love, attention and, most of all, Jesus Christ."
For more information on Christmas break mission trips, contact Joan Stansbury in the Office of Campus Ministries at 789-5227 or email@example.com.