CU students, faculty, staff experience missions over spring break

CU students, faculty, staff experience missions over spring break

April 10, 2015
For Immediate Release


Rebecca Kimber, left, of Leitchfield, Ky., works with children on the Belize mission trip.
Kimber is transferring to CU studying interdisciplinary early childhood education.
(Campbellsville University Photo by Victoria Hundley)

By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. -- From Panama Beach, Fla. on the beach to the home construction in El Salvador, 47 Campbellsville University students, faculty and staff worked to save lives and make lives better for people during spring break.

Ed Pavy, at right, Campbellsville University’s director of campus ministries,
traveled with eight others to work with “Homes from the Heart,” an
organizationthat has constructed homes in two other areas of the country,
as well as in Nicaragua, Honduras and Haiti. From left are: Trent Creason,
director of studentactivities and intramurals at CU; Kendall Riddle of
Louisville, Ky.; Hunter Smith of Munfordville, Ky., and Shelby Knuckles
of Trenton, Ky.

Ed Pavy, director of campus ministries at Campbellsville University, traveled with eight others to San Luis Talpa, El Salvador to work with “Homes from the Heart,” an organization that has constructed homes in two other areas of the country, as well as in Nicaragua, Honduras and Haiti.

Pavy said their worksite will be the future home of 45 families. They did some finish work on walls of one residence and work on the septic system of two other homes.

“The progress is slow, moving forward only as volunteer teams come in,” he said. He said having a day camp in conjunction with the work was planned, but the coordinator for that part didn’t get to go on the trip.

"Adding the dynamic of conducting a day camp in conjunction with the construction work would take the experience to a different level,” he said.

Beach Reach in Panama City Beach had CU students offering free van rides each night, and they served pancakes every morning. They also had a few students on the street walking around sharing the gospel and praying for people.

Brett Sowell of Auburn, Ky., said, “This trip was awesome! It was great to see our students really be burdened for these people that are their peers, that are close in age, and share some of the same commonalities.

“We had spring breakers that were open to hearing the gospel, that we completely shut off, and we had some who knew the gospel and ‘believed’ it.

“I believe what hurt me the most were the ones who knew the gospel and believed in Jesus but choose to live a life apart from Him.”

Sorrell said there were around 30 spring breakers saved that week. “It was awesome to see lives changed,” he said.

Meredith Eastham of Hopkinsville, Ky., also went on the Beach Reach mission trip and said the trip was an “eye-opening experience.”

“I met people from all over the world and connected with all of them in many different ways. What I learned from the trip is to always spread love and kindness, because just by listening and speaking words of life to other, you affect their lives in ways you can’t imagine. Loving others is the only chance some people will have to see Christ.”

Jasmine Barnett, graduate assistant in the Office of Campus Ministries, said, “Beach Reach is a very different form of ministry, but it is very needed. Sharing the love of Christ with spring breakers through free van rides and free pancakes really is life changing. Seeing lostness of individuals along the strip of Panama really opens your eyes. I love the mission and ministry of Beach Reach. Through God’s grace, many are coming to know Christ.”

 Those on the SportsReach Spring Break Mission Trip share a devotion during the trip.

Jim Hardy, assistant director of athletics at CU, was a member of the SportsReach Prison Mission Trip in central Florida which played softball with prisoners.

He said during the trip 72 men gave their life to Christ, 14 men rededicated their life to Christ and 11 men asked for prayer.

“None of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for God. God ordained it for us to worship and work together,” he said.

Those participating said their faith was tried and tested, and they would go to battle any day with “these men of God.” They said God built their faith and character, not only as believers but as men.

Adam Coleman of Utica, Ky., and his girlfriend, Victoria, went to Eagle River, Alaska to serve with Catalyst Church which is a church plant that meets in a fine arts academy, on top of a local hardware store.

They led worship for them on Sunday morning and during the week they did construction on a facility where they are about to begin doing a trailer park ministry in the cold months.

“Alaska is a beautiful place that is in need of a lot of ministry,” Coleman said. “The experience working in Alaska was very comparable to an international trip. It was a completely different culture.”

The School of Education took a trip to Belize where they visited to different orphanages.

One of the events during the Belize trip was the presentation of a workshop, led by Dr. Sharon Hundley, associate professor of education and chair of the early childhood education program, for early childhood teachers throughout the Cayo District, the “state” where the capital city, Belmopan, is located.

This was the first professional development workshop specifically for preschool, and three students, Rita Curtis of Leithfield, Ky., an IECE graduate student, and three undergraduate students, Sherri Simmons of Pauls Valley, Okla., Nakita Gavre of Harned, Ky. and Shannon Shippee of Elizabethtown, Ky., presented some parts of the workshop titled “Positive Guidance and Motivation for Young Children.”

Rita Curtis of Leitchfield, Ky., a student in CU’s graduate teaching leader,
master of arts in education, interdisciplinary early childhood education
program, calls teaching children in Belize a “humbling experience.”
(Campbellsville University Photo by Victoria Hundley)

Curtis, of Horse Branch, Ky., said, “The thing I enjoyed most about the Belize trip is the school experience. As a teacher I was not sure what to expect on my first trip. What I found was hard to put into words -- classrooms with so little, at the same time, with so much.

“These classrooms had little material items, such as pencils and crayons, but with so much joy! The teachers made it a point to welcome us into the classroom with no other expectation than to share the experience. So grateful for whatever we had to offer. What a humbling experience!”

Hundley said the School of Education collected many items to take to the orphanages. They took 13 extra suitcases full of needed supplies, clothes, backpacks for orphanages and schools. Some of the CU students collected items from their churches, schools and communities, and some event spent their own money purchasing items to donate.

“At one of the orphanages we had many books that were for children around 12 – 15 to read. I’ll never forget the 14-year- old boy who came out of the room where we were distributing the items from the suitcases with his two arms loaded down with books.

“He was crying. He came up to me and said ‘Thank you. I love to read. This is the best gift. I have a friend here in the orphanage that also loves to read. We are going to be so happy. We will share these books.’ He went to each of the CU participants and hugged and thanked them for bringing him books.”

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is

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