Mar 30, 2010

Spring Break Missions Trips

by Kelly Marvel

For college students, spring break has long involved going to the beach, getting a tan and having a great time with friends away from school and worries. For many Liberty University students, however, this spring break was a time to show the love of Christ to people all over the world in a number of different countries.

Campus Pastor Johnnie Moore led a group of Liberty students on a Light Ministries trip through Africa to see the work that Liberty is doing to help suffering Africans. Fifty students worked in Uganda and 19 were in Ethopia. Moore also visited Rwanda on his trip.

According to Moore, students were on other trips sponsored by Light Ministries in North Africa, Bosnia and West Asia. Liberty students were also in 32 other countries on missions trips not sponsored by Liberty.

While in Uganda, Moore and the students worked primarily with children who were formerly soldiers. These children fought with the Lord’s Resistance Army who kidnapped and trained them to fight against the Ugandan government for several years. Moore and his team also worked with girls who were kidnapped by the rebel group and forced to be sex slaves.

“A lot of these child soldiers escape but their lives are tattered,” Moore said.

The team participated in a graduation ceremony for the children from trade school. They are taught either sewing, cosmetology or welding.
The Light team also dedicated a home built by Liberty for AIDS orphans in Kampala, Uganda.

“I saw joy in the lives of these people that came directly from the Lord,” junior Tanya Thawley said. “Each of them had gone through awful tragedies, and yet it was so evident to see that the Lord had redeemed each of them and given them such an abundance of joy. Even in the pain and the brokenness, it was such a beautiful thing to see the Lord moving in the lives of these people.”

The 19 Liberty students in Ethopia hosted a week-long soccer camp for 41 children aged 11 to 17. Most of the aspiring athletes came from a Muslim background. By the end of the week, 27 of the 41 children came to know Christ. One of the children was the son of a local Muslim cleric.

“In one week, a lot of lives were changed,” Moore said. “I love seeing Liberty students on the front lines of what God is doing.”

Another group of Liberty students called Caribbeans in Action (CIA) traveled to Haiti over break. The country suffered a 7.0-magnitude earthquake in January.

While in Haiti, the group hosted several pastor conferences, focusing on the topics of restoration and hope.

“These conferences were amazing,” senior John’ae Davis said. “We were so blessed to interact with pastors that have lost everything within two short months (and still) worship God with such authenticity and on one accord.”

Upon seeing the pastors worship, the students said that they knew God was at work in the lives of the Haitians.

“I have never seen something so beautiful as to see these men with their hands in the air and tears running down their faces, singing to our God without any anger or resentment for what they have lost in the earthquake,” junior Amanda Woodard said.

The group also visited three different orphanages, where they were able to distribute supplies, give money for water and interact with the children. They passed out supplies and food in the streets and churches. The people of Haiti were happy to receive the supplies and to see the students.

“Seeing a nation who has been through so much but still finds joy and comfort in the Lord really made an impact in my life,” junior Jack Edma said.

Going on a missions trip, according to Moore, is a life-changing experience that every Christian should have.

“My picture of the world is so broad because I have seen what God has done, and my faith is so much bigger because I have encountered Christians around the world who have seen God do extraordinary things,” Moore said. “I would ask every Liberty student to consider going (on a missions trip).”

Senior Dominique Vidale-Plaza, leader of the CIA trip, knew that going to Haiti would be the experience of a lifetime.

“It was undoubtedly one of the best experiences of my life, and my only regret is that we couldn’t stay longer and that we didn’t have more to give,” Vidale-Plaza said. “Seeing God’s work in Haiti has spurred on my faith in ways I couldn’t even imagine.”

Contact Kelly Marvel at

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