Taylor students worldwide tell their spring break stories
Kat Smith – Daytona:
I went to the Daytona trip, and our service involved talking to strangers and loving on them through Christ’s love for us. It shocked me how rare genuine kindness can be. My favorite parts were the morning food runs and going out to minister at night. It was incredible to serve as a team and come back to debrief and hear about everyone’s day. I learned what it looks like to rejoice with those who are rejoicing and mourn with those who mourn. The trip made me question how I could believe in a loving and wrathful God, why salvation seems so difficult and how any of us could ever be qualified to administer the good news. As a senior going for the first time, I look back and regret not going sooner.
Alex Hunter – Honduras:
I got the incredible opportunity to be a part of the Honduras business as missions trip. We were able to consult with local entrepreneurs that are passionate about their businesses and the customers they serve. The majority of our trip was spent in the country’s capital, Tegucigalpa. We also traveled to a town about 4 hours away called Catacamas. In both of these cities, we gave 3-hour long seminars to a total of over 100 entrepreneurs while also being able to enjoy the incredible scenery and daily life of Honduras. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to see the individual passions and dreams of each of the entrepreneurs despite the fact that many of them did not receive formal education past 3rd grade.
The whole reason for our trip was to empower the local entrepreneurs so they could change their life, the life of their family, and also the community in which they impact. The power of microfinance was very apparent when we were there because we realized that it’s not the lack of talent of capability in this third-world country. Instead, it’s the lack of opportunity. Thirty dollars has the ability to change the the course of the life of an entrepreneur, and we were equipping them with the tangible skills that will help them create that income and make it worthwhile. I can not speak highly enough about the Hondurans that we met, and I would love to talk to you about this trip in more detail if you are interested.
Joe Ingersoll – Mexico:
I went with SMB down to Cancun, Mexico. We came alongside the efforts of Back2Back Missions to serve both their staff and people ministered to through activities such as VBS, construction, prayer walks, after school classes and whatever was needed. Service was done by bringing energy and life to those we were able to interact with whether it be playing games, listening to someone’s story, or even just simply greeting with a smile. Service I believe was the mindset in which we hoped to carry, not the jobs we accomplished. Every experience was new. New people, culture, lifestyle, etc. The whole trip refreshed and expanded a preexisting perspective of what missions looks like which in itself was a new experience.
My favorite part has been the privilege to interact with a missions group doing missions well while being left with plenty to process and a realization that God’s efforts, not my own is at the center of its success and because of this experience I now have a story to tell. If I were to have a least favorite part, it was leaving some incredible relationships that were built.
Molly Fletchall – Memphis:
Through my past two spring breaks spent in Memphis, Tennessee, I’ve learned how to build roofs and relationships. Our team of 15 spent the week partnering with the ministry SOS (Service Over Self). SOS exists to glorify God by proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to underserved neighborhoods in the city of Memphis through home repair and leadership development.
We spent the week serving our homeowners Mr. & Mrs. T, who have lived in Memphis for over 50 years residing in the Binghampton neighborhood. Binghampton is one of the lowest income neighborhoods in Memphis and has been a partner neighborhood of SOS for over 30 years. Personally, my favorite part of the trip was when our homeowners made lunch for us one day and we were able to hear their story. Throughout my experiences in Memphis, I have been able to grow in my knowledge of different cultures (even in the states) and understand what it looks like to live a life of service to the Lord.
Howard Lee – Athens:
We went to Athens, Greece for eight days. We did a bit of traveling. We went Corinth and where Paul walked. We went to Volos and visited a refugee camp and on the way, we went through Delphi, which was a touring site. Then we went to Patras, which was a place we went on last year’s trip and we performed there. Those were the five places that we visited on our trip. We served by visiting three refugee camps. The Syrian camp we were at on a consistent basis, maybe four or five days all together, as two groups the Taylor Sounds and the Taylor Playback. The Playback mostly played games with them, taking care of the younger kids. The Sounds worked on teaching the older kids who had more of an attention span music and songs. The most important part of the trip was just making relationships with these refugees. Even though there wasn’t any direct evangelism, it was all a part of the bigger process.
We are creating these relationships so that Mihalis and Diana’s parents can go back and actually start evangelizing. It was really cool to see the progress that was made from last year to this year. This was a continuation of last year’s trip basically. Mihalis’ ministry was basically created because Dr. Rediger and a couple students suggested creating a ministry with the refugees and creating a trip for this year centered around the refugees. He (Mihalis) takes care of their daily needs by driving them to where they need to go and our job was to create relationships. A lot of us were able to make more than simple relationships. We were able to get to continue to talk to them now. They added us on Facebook and we still have conversations with them. The refugees have literally nothing but they want to give you everything and they are so grateful. We were all amazed and taken aback.