Christendom College students are preparing to go on spring break mission trips this March. Past years have seen upwards of 25% of the student body go on a mission trip, but this year, according to the director of the mission programs, Mike Brown, the number will rise to almost 30%. The students will travel to Guatemala, Nicaragua, Peru, the Dominican Republic, the Bronx, and, for the first time, Stamford, Connecticut, in order to aid certain charities and religious organizations in their work.
“We had 25% of the student body participate last year, which is unheard of— it really speaks volumes about the character and generosity of Christendom students,” says Brown. “The program is rapidly expanding, even beyond the typical spring break mission trips. This year, we’ve added a summer mission program, through which we hope to find students and recent graduates willing to spend two months during the summer doing work in Chile, Alaska, New Jersey, and the Bronx.”
Most of the students who are planning on making these mission trips are currently fundraising to pay for their plane tickets and other needs, an initiative that begins over Christmas break until they reach their financial goal.
“I have to explain to people that they are getting something back when they give,” says senior Marissa Feiring, who is going to Peru. “It helps me to realize that this isn’t just a trip, that it actually has a purpose.”
“I was really touched by the generosity that people have shown me,” sophomore Sydnee Eidle relates. “I did most of my fundraising over social media and was able to meet my goal in a few days.”
Students will participate in the mission trips by evangelizing from door to door, working in the soup kitchens to feed the hungry, teaching and working with little children, and helping with manual labor, such as digging for water in dry areas. The students who are going out of the country also have to learn some of the native languages spoken in the countries they are visiting.
On a regular basis, Christendom students work with charities and nursing homes in Virginia, fundraising for crisis pregnancy centers, and aiding soup kitchens. But the mission trips provide an atmosphere of evangelization, allowing students to experience firsthand the importance of the teaching role of the Church and her members.