Break for Change: Students invest in mission work

1 week ago Triangle 0

Written by: Samantha Burgess, assistant editor

Break for Change offers students a chance to go on a short term trip over spring break, allowing them to sacrificially invest in Christian missions work. The trips will be to Costa Rica, Houston, Haiti, Detroit, Opelousas and San Diego.

The Costa Rica trip, led by Alyssa Valentine and Jonathan Hostetler with mentor Drew Randle, will partner with Mark Padgett, a local missionary, works with seminary school ESEPA. Students will assist local churches with construction projects, share testimonies and help with the church’s children ministry.

Valentine was excited when she heard of Break for Change during her first year at Bryan. But God convicted her not to go because she viewed the trip as a vacation. This wasn’t just for fun, it was a mission trip. She prayed that God would open doors for her and help her to see past her selfish intentions.

“He opened up this door for me to co-lead this trip (my first ever mission trip) as wide as He could,” said Valentine. “Though I have no experience on the mission field, God is already changing my heart and the hearts of my teammates.”

Laura Dodson and Spencer Baker will lead the Opelousas, La. trip with mentor Bruce Morgan. They are partnering with Hope for Opelousas, an inner city ministry with an after school program focused on tutoring and mentoring students. Students will paint houses during the day and help with tutoring at Hope for Opelousas in the evening.

“This opportunity shows how we can practically live out the Gospel everyday,” said Dodson. “If you want to grow in the Lord and learn how to serve Him more, this is a great way to do that.”

The Houston trip, led by Emily Brown and mentor David Holcomb, is working with YMCA International in downtown Houston and North Oaks Baptist Church. Students will learn about the asylum process and what it takes to gain refugee status here in the States and meet with leaders at the forefront of the anti-human trafficking movement.

“On this trip students can learn first-hand experience in working with social justice issues,” said Brown. “It is the duty and privilege of believers to promote justice throughout the earth.”

The trip to Haiti, with Benton Jones as a mentor, is led by Abigail Brown and Jack Wise. They are partnering with the Haitian Entrepreneurial Initiative, an organization that promotes sustainable employment in Haiti through job creation and orphan care. Students will present several Enactus projects including a SWOT–strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats–analysis, a leather conditioning project, marketing strategies, inventory management and a needs assessment.

Abigail Brown said, “If you want to experience a beautiful nation with beautiful people and learn what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus in practical, entrepreneurial ways, come to Haiti.”

Rebecca Jeanneret, mentored by Kara Cutshaw, will lead the Detroit trip, partnering with the Navigators in Dearborn, Michigan and the University of Cincinnati. Students will share the Gospel within the Muslim community. Men are required to wear long pants and women long skirts and hijabs, in order to accommodate with the culture.

“This is a great opportunity to connect with a different culture without leaving the United States and allows others to have a better understanding and view of the Muslim Community,” said Jeanneret.

The San Diego trip, led by Alex Daniels, Abby Ryan and mentor Tim Baldi, will be at the start of summer from May 6-16. They will work with House of Refuge, a food pantry for the homeless. Students will help hand out meals and minister to the homeless.

“Break for Change helps students address huge needs in a way that doesn’t disrupt existing work efforts,” said Daniels. “You don’t need to be a huge spiritual warrior, nor do you need to have tons of money, all you need is a heart for people.”

Break for Change is looking forward to the next school year with plans for trips to the Bahamas, Houston, Haiti, Detroit, Opelousas, San Diego, Dayton and Costa Rica.

Samantha Burgess is a sophomore majoring in communication with an emphasis in digital media and is an assistant editor for the Triangle. She can often be found curled up with a good book, writing, listening to music or watching TV.