By Cassidy Clayton
This year, Georgetown is offering students three different alternative spring break trips. The three locations are Camden, N.J.; Louisa, Ky.; and Ecuador. The Camden trip has about 10 students signed up, but will include some faculty members as well. This group will work alongside Urban Promise, an organization that helps inner city kids grow up in a Christian environment with in-school and after school events. Bruce Main, along with his wife, leads Urban Promise, which holds summer internships in Camden and Honduras for those seeking further time in mission work (for more information go to: http://www.urbanpromiseusa.org/).
The students going to Camden for this spring trip have been holding weekly meetings to prepare for their upcoming journey. These meetings entail the basic strategies for each mission trip – to come with an open mind and an open heart. Also, be flexible! Those participating in missions are there to work for the good of others, not to complain when the job is not being done fast enough. Joel Reihmer, a junior, has been on the Camden trip before. His advice: always keep a smile on your face.
Joel Reihmer’s time in Camden was “just awesome.” His favorite memories include playing ultimate Frisbee during down time and getting to play with some amazing kids. Camden is a troubled city, so just being a friend to these kids can help in numerous ways. Reihmer’s first time to Camden was a little scary at first, but this time he knows the environment and has no apprehension about doing it again. “Camden’s heading in a positive direction, and when people have that mindset it makes it into a reality quicker. Trips like this really help.”
The newest trip added to the list is to Louisa, Ky. Around 15 students will spend their time there, helping rehabilitate Appalachia.Within four to five days, students will assist with home repairs for the community, including installing dry wall and sheet rock and doing basic repairs. Many local churches co-sponsor this trip, including the Newman Center and Campus Ministries.
The final trip is to Ecuador. Ecuador will be inhabited with 10 Georgetown students to do a number of projects, not all of which are decided yet. As spring break gets closer, more information is to come.
For those going on an alternative spring break trip, the experience is invaluable. Georgetown students are highly encouraged to look into short-term missions, even if they are not through the college. Explore an area outside of your comfort zone, or stay local and try to improve the community in which we live. Either way, there is plenty of work that can be done. We need to be a part of the solution, not the problem.
Previous spring break mission trips have gone to places like Mission Arlington, in Arlington, Texas, New Orleans, La. and the Elizabeth Place in Georgetown. New trips can be initiated by students, so if you know a place in need, speak up.