While quite a few students used Spring Break to catch up on some much-needed rest or to get a tan on the beach, some Blue Mountain students were even busier than usual. Many went on short-term mission trips, either with the BSU’s annual Spring Break in New York program or with their own local churches.
The students who went as part of the Baptist Student Union were assigned to different locations around the city, in four of the five boroughs. Abby Keathley was assigned to the Southeast Asian community, where she was able to help minster to the Sikh people from India. “They were just the sweetest people,” she said, “so hospitable and friendly.” During the week that they were there, they received many invitations to the Sikh temple, where everyone – regardless of religion, race, or class – is served three meals a day.
“They were so sweet, but also so lost,” she said. Many of the people they spoke to had never heard the name of Jesus Christ. And even after the team shared the gospel with them, many insisted that their good works were enough to give them a right relationship with God. Although she was disappointed that no one decided to accept Jesus during the time that they were there, Abby said that it was good for her to learn more about perseverance. She also encouraged other students to go on these mission trips with the BSU, because it is “life-changing, and it gets you of your comfort zone.”
Several students also took mission trips to other locations with their home churches. Kaylee Red went to the Bahamas with others from Discovery Church of Pontotoc to serve some of the Haitian community there. It was a full week for them, as they helped a church pour concrete for a new parking lot, held VBS for the local kids every evening, went to a juvenile detention center, served meals to the homeless, and helped clean two different nursing homes. It was a new experience for Kaylee, as her first international mission trip.
Tracy Moser, director of the BSU, said that the one thing she really wants the students to learn from these mission trips is that they can often serve the Lord in the same ways at home. It’s all about purposefully finding ways to share the gospel, and that can be done anywhere – not just in a new city or a different country.