Spring Break saw more than 40 Huntington University students
traveling to far-away lands, visiting sunny shores, and all while
serving the community abroad.
The service trips, organized by the Friesen Center for Volunteer Services
at HU, led short-term service trips in Belize, Jamaica and the
first-ever “Mystery Trip.” The teams were headed by a faculty adviser
and a student trip leader who worked to organize the trip from the
Trip” was a new adventure designed to recruit students who would be
willing to go and serve wherever they would be needed. No one on the
trip team knew the location or the task assigned until they arrived at
the destination early into the trip.
Defuniak Springs, Fla., was
the locale and the team spent the week building and repairing houses
damaged by local storms. Hammers and Hearts is the organization who
directed the team alongside Grace Kaufman, director of volunteer service
and outreach ministry, and Lauren Kirby, the student trip leader.
Twelve students went on the trip.
“The trip was ultimately a
step of faith for all of us,” Kirby said. “For the girls, they had to
step out in faith by giving up control and allowing themselves to go
wherever they were needed to serve. In taking that step of faith, we
were all blessed more than any of us were expecting.”
Belize team didn’t stay long in one place. The Hosanna House served as a
mission base, as well as the location of projects such as repaving the
entry road. Students led devotions at schools in Dangriga, a nearby
town, others led prayers and devotions to students after school back at
the Hosanna House. The last day of the trip gave the team time to visit
the Mayan ruins of Xuantunich. The Rev. Arthur Wilson, campus pastor,
and Kaitlyn Dreman, the student trip leader, led the team for the week.
Fourteen students attended this trip.
“As a wise man told us
during our week in Belize, ‘God is most glorified when you are most
satisfied in Him,’” said Shana Christian, a sophomore on the trip. “If
there is something that was learned from my trip, it is that statement.”
HU has worked with CSI Ministries in Jamaica for several years, and the results have always been memorable.
mother named Angela and her two daughters were living in a home with a
crumbling foundation, and the walls would soon fall. CSI Ministries and
the 13 students from HU spent their week in Highgate, Jamaica, building
this family a new home. The Friday morning before the team left, they
had to honor of presenting the house to Angela. The team was led by Dr.
Norris Friesen, director of institutional effectiveness, and Student
Trip Leader Katie Eckhoff.
“She no longer had to worry about a
strong wind coming and blowing her house down on her or the foundation
finally falling apart,” said senior Alan Huffman, a student on the trip.
“It was awesome to see her acknowledge that God had answered her
prayers and provided safety for her family. You could tell the God was
at work in our group as well as in Jamaica.”