CU students share Christmas break mission trip experiences

CU students share Christmas break mission trip experiences

Jan. 31, 2011
For Immediate Release

Campbellsville University students share Christmas break mission trip experiences

 Drew Simpson, a senior from Hodgenville, Ky., moves gravel for a construction project while on a mission trip in Costa Rica. (Campbellsville University Photo by Alan Haven)

By Christina Miller, office assistant

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.— “Looking back I see how God stretched me and used me to meet needs, and on campus, as a follower of Christ, I have that same responsibility to meet needs,” Alan Haven, Campbellsville University’s Baptist Campus Ministry (BCM) president, said at last week’s Oasis, a weekly meeting of Baptist Campus Ministry.

 Ed Pavy, director of campus ministries, digs in
the dirt to make a hole for a plumbing line in
Costa Rica. (Campbellsville University Photo
by Alan Haven)
The senior from Shelbyville, Ky. went to Costa Rica on a mission trip over Christmas break. He said, “Missions is not one week out of the year, it’s something to continue.”


What originally began as a trip to Haiti for one group, turned into a mission trip in Miami instead. The team had already left and made it to Miami, but then because of rioting in Haiti, they were not allowed into the country.

Natalie Buckley, a junior from Louisville, Ky., said it was a Romans 8:28 trip “because even though we didn’t really understand why we were in Miami instead of Haiti the Lord had a plan and He worked everything out.”

Not a day went by that the team wasn’t able to serve. The team ended up working with churches they met through the hotel’s front desk, and with a homeless shelter and a ministry called “Touching Miami with Love.”

Jessica Gunby, a graduate student from Madisonville, Ky., said, “It was discouraging being stuck in Miami, but through those circumstances we were able to serve in Miami.

“People need God everywhere. Every day we realized our chances of getting into Haiti were shut down, but God was glorified in Miami.”

Gunby was at first afraid of going on a mission trip because she was saved only a year ago. “I was afraid someone would ask a question I didn’t know the answer, but no one of us is good enough to do it on our own. He equips us with an answer.”

A trip to Charleston, Mo. working with inner-city children left a lasting impression of a simple concept with Phil Carlisle, a senior from Harrodsburg, Ky. That concept is hope.

“Human nature gets the best of me and I think they (the children) have no hope. These kids have seen rape and violence; I would think they would get caught up in the same circumstances as their parents, but God is a big God—he makes miracles out of small chances.”

Charleston is only about a five-hour drive from Campbellsville. “The trip reminded me not to overlook my own backyard. It (Charleston) was like a third world country in America.”

 Chris Price, a senior from Campbellsville, sits with inner-city children on a mission trip to Charleston, Mo. (Campbellsville University Photo by Phil Carlisle)

While many may think you have to go somewhere far away to call it a mission trip, Leslie Way, a senior from Science Hill, Ky., also took the five-hour drive to Charleston. She said, “It doesn’t matter where you’re from, God will use your story. Go where people need love.”

In Arlington, Texas, Danielle Bastin, a junior from Yosemite, Ky., worked at the Christmas Store helping families in need choose gifts for their children.

One of the days she helped pick up canned goods with some children and teens “eager to get involved in their community,” she said. The surprise came when the children helping gather the canned goods were actually some of the people who would be receiving them, and they didn’t even know it.

Kenzee Oller, a freshman from Floyds Knobs, Ind., went to a mission trip with Kentucky Heartland Outreach (KHO) and built a deck for a family in need.

She said it was cold, but God helped the five girls to get a deck built in one day.

Carlee Ledezma, a freshman from Mayfield, Ky., also went on the KHO trip and encouraged others to go on mission trips. “If you haven’t been saved long, don’t underestimate your ability,” she said. “God can use you in any way possible.”

Brandon Lakes, a senior from Louisville, Ky., plays on Campbellsville University’s junior varsity basketball team. He went with a mission team to Florida with Sports Reach, ministering to men in prisons through basketball.

Lakes said, “It was the atmosphere which changed my life and heart. You think guys in prison are the scum of the earth, but they have big hearts.”

The team played nine games in five days with six people, and 172 decisions were made.

“Prison was a reality check,” Lakes said. “I met one guy who did more for God in prison than I ever think of doing in the free world. It was a spiritual check to surround myself with Christ to change and reach other people.”

Drew Simpson, a senior from Hodgenville, Ky., encouraged others to take advantage of the opportunity in college to go on mission trips. Having returned from a mission trip to Costa Rica, he said, “Make the decision, pray about it and do it. You’ll be surprised how God will take care of everything if you take that step.”

If you are interested in mission work, contact the Office of Campus Ministries at 270-789-5227.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with over 3,000 students offering 63 undergraduate programs, 17 master’s degrees and five postgraduate areas. The website for complete information is

 Sarah Fletcher, a freshman from Russell Springs, Ky., talks with some teenagers during lunch on a mission trip to Charleston, Mo. (Campbellsville University Photo by Phil Carlisle)


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