Several Corban students decided to take their spring without the break this March. Putting the leisure of laziness behind them, they sprung into action as they served others and shared the gospel in Tecate, Mexico; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Los Angeles, Calif.
For the 22 students and one alumn who partnered with Amor Ministries, break was spent south of the border
The first group spent Monday through Friday driving to Tecate, Mexico, sleeping in tents, battling the elements, building two 11×12 homes for needy families and sponsoring a Vacation Bible School for local children
“This is my third spring break mission trip and my first coordinating it,” said Senior Kaitlyn Ragan, who co-led the trip “You never know how challenging things are until you’re in charge of them.”
Kena Gugudan, the trip’s other leader, said, “It was a big stretch for me and for all of us.”
He explained that the whole team had to trust in God whole heartedly, even when transportation to Mexico was solidified a mere day before their departure
Ben Hopper, explained the ups and downs as he scrubbed out the six mud-splattered tents they slept in.
“The first night we literally had six inches of water running through our tents,” he said with a laugh.
But he and Kenji Fukunaga agreed that the trials were worth it. Nothing was better, they said, than the looks on the families’ faces when they handed them the keys to their new homes.
“It’s a shock to see how the people live and just to see how a home can change the family’s whole life,” Regan added. “It’s a humbling experience and I am so glad I can be part of it.”
On the other side of the North America, several female students spent their week in Cincinnati, Ohio partnering with Kenwood Baptist Church and other agencies to reach the needy for Christ.
After 12 hours of travel on Saturday, and leading the church’s youth group Sunday school the following morning, the girls spent their Monday putting together care packages with the organization “Matthew 25” that sends out care packages containing food, clothing, and personal care items to victims of disaster such as Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake, and currently, Japan.
Later in the week, they spent a few days volunteering at a local food bank, serving some of Cincinnati’s poorest citizens.
Alisa Tobin, who led the trip, said that “trusting God,” was a huge theme for their outreach: trusting that “He would provide the funds for us, the opportunities to serve, [and] the places to serve.”
For Monica Alfson, the trip also taught her to trust God and rejoice in his work in her life when she shared her testimony with the Kenwood youth group. Alfson, who had battled an eating disorder in her past, struggled to decide whether or not she should share her story of perseverance.
Alfson said that God’s answer came like a slap in the face. She said it was if God had stated, “What do you think you are doing? I gave you your story … why would you try to hide it?”
Alfson poured out her testimony of God’s redeeming love, and the result?
“They were one of the most accepting group of teenagers I have ever met,” she said.
The final group of short-term missionaries hit up sunny California, but weren’t to be seen among the attractions at Disney Land or the waves of the pacific. Rather, the group spent their time ministering and serving the homeless population in the seediest alleys of Los Angeles: from destitute slum at “skid row” to the prostitutes they befriended.
They gave out blankets and food to the homeless. They brought juice boxes, crackers and gospel tracks to prostitutes. They hosted block-parties and barbeques for inner-city kids. They shared the love of Christ to anyone who would listen.
In one amazing instance, on a rainy afternoon, they were approached by a police officer who confronted them for (apparently illegally) distributing flyers for a block party at an inner-city middle school. When the officer saw that they were trying to share the gospel he changed his mind.
“Keep on handing those out,” he said, holding an umbrella over their heads. He even called the kids over, and told them to take a flyer and go to the barbeque.
In another instance Thashey Yang, a burly member of the group, admitted to being a bit intimidated by the rugged characters they encountered in the alleyways of L.A. He was filled with shock and admiration when one of his petite, female team-members walked up to some scary-looking “thugs” and started openly sharing the gospel.
“Dang! This white girl is crazy!” he said, but he quickly recounted his next thoughts, “You think you are all big, you think you are all cool … why aren’t you getting out of your comfort zone?”
As Peter Ellis shared, one day as they stood in the scum and destitution of “skid row,” an alley filled with impoverished and filthy homeless, he looked up at the contrast of the silver L.A. skyline, at the people in “silver towers … living in affluence.”
He felt indignation: how could they live like that when people lived in so much pain right below them. Then, to his amazement he thought,
“But what am I doing when it’s not spring break?”