HUNTINGTON, Ind. — Several students from Huntington University plan to spend their spring break traveling. Some will see the lights of the big city while others will venture to exotic locations — all with the goal to serve.
HU’s Joe Mertz Center for Volunteer Service will send three teams of students to Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Philadelphia; and Zacapa, Guatemala, from March 12-16. These groups will volunteer in area orphanages, clinics, schools and with local missionaries. Two sports teams will also be traveling for the break. The HU softball team will travel to Tucson, Ariz., where head coach Doug Gower hopes to find small ways for the softball team to minister on top of training for the upcoming season.
“We try to do little things while traveling such as anonymously pay for an unsuspecting person’s meal when we go out to eat,” Gower said. “It could be an older couple or anyone really. We try to make it a team choice. We try to represent Huntington in all we do while out for an extended period.”
The women's soccer team will be making its way to Haiti where team members will be staying with Giving Hope Rescue Mission, an orphanage, where they will be volunteering. They will also travel to different orphanages including a special needs and terminally ill orphanage. They are also hoping to host soccer clinics.
Jessica Stearns, an HU graduate counseling student and assistant for the JMC, organized all the mission trips this year. Stearns will advise a team of students in Guatemala who will volunteer with His Hands International Inc. Rebecca McIlwain, a sophomore psychology major from Albany, Ind., will lead six students for the Guatemala trip.
“I’ve always wanted to go on a missions trip,” McIlwain said. “This is my first time leading an overseas mission trip. It’s been more work than I thought it would be.”
The Guatemala team will serve lunch to the community and volunteer at the local children’s home and malnutrition center.
“In ministry, it’s all about developing a sense of relationship and show that you genuinely care for the person you’re going to serve,” McIlwain said. “You have to be open to God working through you while you’re there.”
Mallory Jones, resident director for Baker and Roush halls, also feels exhilarated about advising a missions team to Haiti. Jones and her team will work with Mission of Hope, one of the largest missions organizations in Haiti.
“I have a big passion for travel, ministry and other cultures so it was an easy answer to give when I was asked if I wanted to lead the trip,” she said. “I want to help students experience something that could impact their lives and change their worldviews.”
The group traveling to Philadelphia will serve with the Center for Student Missions which is an organization that connects students wanting to volunteer with various projects around the community. The team also will assist with afterschool programs.
“I hope our team will be able to get out of our comfort zone and get a feel for inner-city life in the U.S.,” said Doris Walker, student leader for the trip and a junior entrepreneurial small business management and business management double major from Kandern, Germany. “I want our team to see how the Philadelphia inner-city population experiences poverty and for them to experience Christ in that environment.”
• Olivia Zepeda, a sophomore psychology major from Goshen, Ind.
• Emily Myers, a sophomore communication studies major from Monroe, Ind.
• Abbey Wise, a senior elementary education and middle school education major from Frankfort, Ill.
• Rebecca McIlwain, a sophomore psychology major from Albany, Ind. She will serve as the student leader.
• Jonathan Dettmer, a junior exercise and movement science major from Ossian, Ind.
• Molly Gropp, a sophomore film production major from Orland, Ind.
• Rachel Belland, a sophomore elementary and special education and elementary and middle school education double major from Galesburg, Mich.
• Doris Walker, a junior entrepreneurial small business management and business management double major from Kandern, Germany. She will serve as the student leader.
• Victoria Bayliff, a freshman chemistry education major from Lima, Ohio.
• Jonathan Brenneman, a senior history and philosophy double major from St. Marys, Ohio.
• Michael Megonnell, a senior mathematics education major from York Springs, Pa.
• Jamie Schreur, a freshman elementary education and special education double major from Hamilton, Mich.
• Laura Olen, a senior educational ministries and Bible and religion with concentration in biblical studies double major from Elyria, Ohio.
• Tracee Bushnell, a senior nursing major from Lansing, Mich.
• Logan Conley, a missions and youth ministries double major from Kendallville, Ind. He will serve as the student leader.
• Jessica Musselman, a sophomore psychology major from Huntington, Ind.
• Lauren Powers, a senior psychology major from Lansing, Ill.
• Rosa Cruz, a sophomore political science and pre-law double major from San Antonio, Texas.
• Kelly Stace, a junior nursing major from Fort Wayne, Ind.
Women's Soccer Team Haiti Trip:
• Jamie Duchane, a sophomore elementary and special education major from North Manchester, Ind.
• Rebekah Fecteau, a freshman exercise and movement science major from Otterville, Ontario, Canada
• Kaitlyn Dreman, a freshman exercise and movement science major from Aurora, Colo.
• Erin Barclay, a freshman exercise and movement science and sport and exercise studies double major from Spring Arbor, Mich.
• Sam Barclay, a junior recreation and sports ministry major from Spring Arbor, Mich.
• Courtney Baker, a freshman physical education major from New Castle, Ind.
• Brittany Hartman, a junior nursing major from Ossian, Ind.
• Mary Whybrew, a freshman psychology major from Upland, Ind.