A group of Campbellsville University students helps tear down the wall of a home destroyed by Hurricane Katrina during a Spring Break mission trip to New Orleans. (Campbellsville University Photo by Rachel Crenshaw)
Many CU Students Touch Lives on Summer Mission Trips
By Rachel Crenshaw, student news writer
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. - More than 50 Campbellsville University students will be spending their summers as missionaries through a variety of organizations, including Centri-Kid, CU Crew, Crossings, and also through various international and domestic mission trips.
Throughout the summer, participating students will be working Vacation Bible Schools (VBS), sports camps, youth camps, working in orphanages, interning on church staffs and numerous other forms of servant leadership over the next several months, according to Ed Pavy, director of campus ministries.
Some of the areas being served by CU students include: Camp Kentahten in Campbellsville, Ridgecrest, N.C., South Dakota, Wisconsin, Wolfe County, Louisville, Ky., Bowling Green, Ky., Bagdad, Ky., Ghana, Africa, California, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, Scotland, Nicaragua and Honduras.
During the 2009 spring break, many Campbellsville University students traveled throughout the country and internationally to participate in various mission trips.
Eight different teams consisting of 60 students and staff members were sent out to New Orleans, La.; Houston, Texas; Dearborn, Mich.; Panama City Beach, Fla.; Sports Reach, Fla.; Washington, D.C.; Mexico, and Costa Rica. Money raised by the annual Baptist Campus Ministry Dinner Theater aided the teams in their various travels.
Jenna Bender of Campbellsville, Ky., prays with the Campbellsville University mission group and members of Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization, before helping tear down homes in New Orleans destroyed by Hurricane Katrina during a Spring Break mission trip. (Campbellsville University Photo by Rachel Crenshaw)
Robert Bender, of Campbellsville, Ky., led a group to New Orleans, which he said was his second trip to the area since Hurricane Katrina. The group aided in the reconstruction of the city under the direction of Samaritan's Purse, an organization that provides international relief during crises.
"I couldn't be more proud of our group of eight," Bender said. "Everyone pulled his or her own weight, and together the team accomplished so much. I really feel we made a lasting impression on the city of New Orleans. I can't wait for the opportunity to go back."
Among those traveling to New Orleans were Laura Clark of Bowling Green, Ky., Ashley Melton of Kuttawa, Ky.; David Havener of Harrodsburg, Ky.; Nic Hervey of Alexandria, Ky.; Kyle Hester of Stanford, Ky.; Rachel Crenshaw of Shepherdsville, Ky.; and Jenna Bender of Campbellsville.They stayed at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, which is pastored by the Rev. Fred Luter.
André Tomaz, of Brazil, traveled with the group to Houston, Texas, and he said, "Going to Houston really changed my perspective on the lifestyles of various minority groups. After working with them, I developed a love for the people and a driven passion to help them understand the love God has for everyone. It was truly a heart opening experience."
Other team members who traveled with Tomaz included: Ashley Boyd, of Simpsonsville, Ky.; Garett Lowery of Mt. Washington, Ky.; Kenton Hallinan of Louisville, Ky.; Hannah Boyd of Simpsonville; Yumiko Oga of Fukuoka, Japan; Christan Richards of Beaver Dam, Ky.; Emily Bryant of Louisville; Amy Busse of Elizabethtown, Ky.; and Lindsey Kleyer of Simpsonville.
Michael McDanel, of Paducah, Ky., led a team to Panama City Beach, Fla., to participate in Beach Reach, where college students and leaders come together to share the love of Jesus through servant evangelism to spring breakers who are desperately searching for meaning to life according to its Web site, www.threadsmedia.com.
McDanel said he would like to thank Campbellsville University for the opportunity to minister to the lost.
"There were one or two nights where we prayed constantly for the people that we were reaching and it was awesome to see how God answered our prayers and used us as a vessel," McDanel said.
Traveling with McDanel was Ashley Mulder of Elizabethtown, Ky.; Justin Watson of Eddyville, Ky.; Melinda Davis of Glasgow, Ky.; and Alan Mullikan of Lexington, Ky.
Tori Baker of Danville, Ky., traveled to Mexico for her second spring break in a row, along with Stephanie Crabtree of Campbellsville, Ky. Together, they taught English, built a playground, aided with a health clinic and other various ministry related tasks.
"Stepping away from the comforts of America and viewing poverty in other parts of the world is so important because it reminds us Christians that not everyone is as fortunate as us," Baker said.
"The trip reminded me that it is our responsibility to bring aid to the poor while illustrating God's love. The faces of the people I met in Mexico will never leave me and I will always be in a constant state of prayer for their salvation."
Jim Hardy, eligibility/equipment coordinator and running back coach at CU, took several CU students to Sports Reach, Fla., to participate in a softball mission ministry.
"I knew this trip would give the student athletes an opportunity to do something fun and educational while also touching the lives of many in the process," Hardy said.
"We played ball in six prisons over a six-day period for a total of 31 games. The greatest wins, though, were in the lives of the inmates. Eighty-five men accepted Christ as their personal Savior and countless others re-dedicated their life to Christ. It was a truly powerful week and we look forward to the opportunity to do this again next year and would love to have more CU students get involved with this ministry."
This team included Calvin Bini of Radcliff, Ky.; Nicky Davis of Campbellsville; Jeff Demary of Columbia, S.C.; and Jake Howard of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Nic Hervey, left, of Alexandria, Ky., and Kyle Hester of Stanford, Ky., help rip apart studs from a home destroyed by Hurricane Katrina during a Spring Break mission trip to New Orleans. (Campbellsville University Photo by Rachel Crenshaw)
Carman Edwards, of Columbia, S.C., traveled to Washington, D.C., with the Flash 7 ultimate Frisbee team. The team participated with Central Union Missions homeless shelter, Heaven's Grocery Store, which provides aid to the homeless and needy, and they participated in sports ministry in the National Mall.
"Traveling to D.C., definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. Our goal was to be a witness of God's love in an athletic atmosphere. It was also encouraging to see other mission teams spreading the word alongside us. It just goes to show there is a need in our own country as well as others," Edwards said.
Traveling to Washington, D.C. with Edwards was Jeremy Elmore, team leader, of Louisville; Andrew McNeil of Louisville, Tenn.; Kevin Metzger of Richmond, Va.; Rachel Szabo of Florence, Ky.; John McDermond of Florence; and Nicci Wilcox of Vine Grove, Ky.
Pavy led a team to Costa Rica to work with missionaries Bill and Linda Egbert and Brent Hippler. The Egberts are CU alumni and the only International Mission Board missionaries working with the Ngabe. Hippler is also a CU alum and is serving a two-year term as a Journeyman working with the Ngabe.
"The Costa Rica team had a great experience.We were able to share our testimonies on numerous occasions in multiple houses.We were also involved with showing Christian movies to the Ngabe in their own language (Ngabere)," Pavy said.
"A part of our goal is to come alongside those folks we work with on trips like this and support their ministry," he said.
"The missionaries were very pleased with the effort.So it's good to hear them saying we accomplished just what they were hoping.This trip was another link in what continues to be a growing partnership between the Egberts, CU Campus Ministries, and Campbellsville Baptist Church."
Those traveling with Pavy included, Doug Price, coordinator of audio/visual services at CU; Brian House of Madisonville, Ky.; David Hon of Orange Park, Fla.; Cary Mason of Lawrenceburg, Ky.; David Kays of Bardstown, Ky.; and Spencer Adams of Marion, Ohio.
Another team traveled to Dearborn, Mich., including: Jessica Harris of Louisville; Lindsey Hammers of Fairdale, Ky.; Chelsi Netherland of Leitchfield, Ky.; Kristina Wallace of Hopkinsville, Ky.; Micah White of Louisville; Cliff Engles of Fort Thomas, Ky.; Sara Erikson of Fisherville, Ky.; and Jayna Turner of Franklin, Ohio.
For more information about mission trips, contact the Office of Campus Ministries at (270) 789-5227 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,601 students who represent 93 Kentucky counties, 27 states and 31 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report's 2009 "America's Best Colleges," CU is ranked 22nd in "Best Baccalaureate Colleges" in the South for the second consecutive year. CU has been ranked 16 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America's Best Christian Colleges®. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his tenth year as president.