More than 200 Hope College students be spending their spring break serving others.
Some 16 service and mission trips have been planned for the college's spring break, which runs Friday, March 16, through Sunday, March 25. The trips span the U.S. and also include sites abroad in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
Nearly 200 of the students will be participating in multiple mission trips organized by the college's Campus Ministries Office. In addition, 18 students involved in the college's chapter of Habitat for Humanity will participate in a work project in Florida, and another 18 students will travel with associate professor of kinesiology Dr. Steven Smith to Jamaica.
In East Palo Alto, Calif., students will be working with Bayshore Christian Ministries, a year-round ministries program, to help at-risk children. In the Chicago, Ill., area, students will participate in building projects and other activities of Circle Urban Ministries in Austin. Students working with Christ Community Church in Pompano Beach, Fla., will practice evangelism on the beach.
A trip to Annville, Ky., has been designed for students interested in the health professions, and will present opportunities to work with local family practice doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and physical therapists. In Hazel Green, Ky., students will work with Impact Missions to connect with the community through participating in work projects.
Students traveling to Gulfport, Miss., will be assisting in hurricane relief, following the efforts of Hope student groups that have made three other trips to the area since the fall of 2005. In Jackson, Miss., students will participate in building projects and other activities of Voice of Calvary Ministries.
Students heading to Newark, N.J., will work with World Impact, an inner-city ministry, to tutor children and offer some retail training to residents. In Dulce, N.M., students interested in the health professions will work with local health care providers in addressing the needs of local Native Americans. New Life Fellowship and Street Life Ministries in Queens, N.Y., offer students a chance to participate in urban ministry in a diverse setting.
Apache, Okla., and the Apache Reformed Church will host students as they work with Native Americans of all ages. With Service Over Self in Memphis, Tenn., students will provide improvement assistance to homeowners in the inner-city community.
A total of four groups of Hope students will travel abroad through the Campus Ministries program this year.
Young Life leaders from Hope will go to the Dominican Republic, to lend a hand with work projects at a Young Life camp, play with children, and lead activities and worship with young adults involved in Young Life. In Guatemala, students will assist at the Amando a los Ninos (Loving the Children) orphanage in a variety of ways, ranging from construction to interacting with the children. Students headed to Tijuana, Mexico, will team up with La Rocca, a program designed to help the city's poor and disadvantaged. A trip to Nicaragua will allow pre-medical and nursing students a chance to help by making visits to remote villages and public schools to help meet a variety of hygiene and medical needs.
The students involved in Habitat for Humanity will engage in a work project in Lakeland, Fla. They will be working in conjunction with the national Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge program.
The group of students with Smith will be working on the school campus of the Caribbean Christian Center for the Deaf in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Smith has led a group of students to the site during spring break for several years.