BY SARAH ALLISON
With initial advertisements and fundraisers for the upcoming spring break mission trips underway, mission leaders are making preparations for a fruitful spring break.
Mary Malloy, co-leader of the Chicago mission, says that one of the joys of this process is meeting new people and helping them have the experience of a mission.
However, planning also occupies a large amount of time. It can be hard to balance missionary life with the day-to-day trials of being a student. Mission directors must also give up their preconceived notions of how the mission should go and who should be on the team.
“God’s the real mission leader,” said Malloy. “I can plan all I want, but God’s the one calling the shots.”
The Chicago mission team is in the earliest stages of fundraising, having begun by selling corndogs at the St. Francis Festival. They plan to put on similar fundraisers throughout the year as well as visit parishes and praying a novena.
Leaders and participants prepare with prayer, fundraising and organization. Their work includes interviewing potential team members, sharing ideas for and eventually running fundraisers and working together to ensure that all students receive vaccinations, passports and whatever else is needed. They also arrange transportation, including airlines, for journeying to and from the mission site.
Missions of Peace sponsors the trips to locations around the United States and the world. Rhett Young, director of missionary outreach, directs the leaders in fundraising and interviewing the team.
Students also have the opportunity to go on spring break mission trips outside the University. One such mission is the Haiti mission trip, which is sponsored by Moving with the Spirit.
This year the director of the Haiti mission is Patrick Sutter, who has attended twice and decided to lead it in his senior year.
Students who participate stay at an orphanage known as Kay Mari where they spend time with the orphans and visit local villages to give service such as physical labor and helping the elderly who live on their own. They end every day with some form of prayer.
This year, the Haiti mission’s planning process is going differently. In past years, the planning team has performed the majority of its work in the spring semester. With this new plan the work will be more spread out. So far they have had one information meeting.
“A big joy is seeing everyone that God’s called to this mission trip,” said Sutter. “It’s a lot more work than I previously anticipated, but nothing I can’t handle.”
Hannah Glaser went on the Haiti mission trip last spring and calls it one of the best spring break missions she has ever been on. The joy of the children at the orphanage is “contagious and just makes your heart melt.”
Domestic missions offered by Missions of Peace this upcoming spring will send student volunteers to Arizona, New York City, Chicago, New Mexico, North Dakota, San Diego and Steubenville. Foreign missions will visit Belize, Ecuador, Honduras and Nicaragua.