As students prepared for their trips, talk of packing, praying, and preparing could be heard throughout the school. There has been something in the air, a sense of spiritual purpose as students finish schoolwork and turn their attention toward the trips they have been planning for months. Ginger Saunders, an administrative assistant in the Pharmacy department, says she “felt like going on this trip (Nevis) was Spirit-led” and that “after much prayer, this was the trip that opened up” for her. The trip to the tiny island of Nevis is Ginger’s first mission trip with Lipscomb Missions. Freshman Rebecca Burris, just hours before the departure of her trip to an orphanage in Cozumel, Mexico, says, “At this point, I am more excited than anything else…it’s the excitement for the trip that keeps me going!”
The rookies aren’t the only ones excited for Spring Break missions. 11 of the 18 current trips have been traveling to the same location for 10+ years. In fact, for many of the veteran team members, the idea of going anywhere else was unthinkable. Says Senior and three-time Saba team member, Katy Heinly, “Their enjoyment of life and curiosity draw me back each year. I so appreciate their culture and willingness to accept us into their lives.”
One of the most interesting and incredible things about Lipscomb Missions is the opportunity for students to serve alongside University staff, faculty and professionals from the community. After a week of giving and grading tests, Professor Alan Bradshaw is foregoing his well-earned weeklong break from students in order to lead 25 students on a long standing medical mission trip to Guatemala. Says Bradshaw, “Lipscomb University is the kind of place where staff and faculty actually know their students. I love serving alongside students, because it’s such a reminder that the responsibility to form and mentor these young adults doesn’t end once we leave the classroom.”
With 18 different Spring Break mission trips, there are a variety of different types of service being done. Trip participants will be doing everything from mentoring and ministering to orphanages in Mexico, building multiple houses and church buildings in Honduras, or delivering medical help in Guatemala. There is even a team that stays home, focusing on serving the Nashville community. Mission teams partner with local churches and organizations on-location to ensure that the work that teams offer is well-done and effective , but the impact of these trips inevitably spills over onto the participants. “It really puts life into perspective for those of us who go,” says Senior David Grayson, who is heading to Honduras, “It’s amazing to see how happy and generous the locals are with so little. It really shows us how blessed we are, and that we should share our blessings.”
While mission work has always been a part of Lipscomb University’s history, the current Lipscomb Missions program, with approximately 45 teams and 700 participants being sent out this year, began over a decade ago. Currently overseen by Assistant Director of Missions Mark Jent, the program has expanded into many partnerships with departments on campus, such as Education, Engineering, and Athletics. “We really want to reinforce the idea that “mission” isn’t just about doing one thing; it’s about purposefully using whatever gift or talent God has given you in order to bless others.”
With teams spread out all over the world, serving in so many different ways, it’s impossible to communicate the whole story of all the Lipscomb Missions Program’s Spring Break teams. But wherever you might find them over the coming week, you can be sure that these Lipscomb students, staff, faculty and friends will be a blessing to those they serve.
To learn more about our Spring Break mission teams, click here.