Liberty University’s Center for Ministry Training sent 61 seminary and undergraduate students on “exposure trips” over fall break. Student teams partnered with local churches in four major cities along the East Coast — Wilmington, Del., Philadelphia, Pa., Baltimore, Md., and Jackson, Tenn. — to aid local communities and practice skills they have been developing in the classroom.
A team of 20 students worked alongside church members based in Wilmington to fulfill practical, tangible needs within the community.
|A team of Liberty students helped with an inner city ministry in Philadelphia.|
Another group of 20 received hands-on experience working with an inner city ministry in Philadelphia.
Hannah Silver, a student who went on the Philadelphia trip, helped plant a church by going up to strangers on the streets asking them about their faith.
“We were met with a variety of responses from Christian fellowship to hostility toward the faith. God taught me a huge lesson about living life for others and not for myself,” she said. “The most important aspect of the trip was giving all my energy to serve the people of Philadelphia and allowing them to see what an amazing opportunity being part of a church can be.”
Jenna Ragusa volunteered at the Safe House of Hope with 10 other Liberty students who cleaned out the backyard garden, sorted through donated clothes, chiseled out tree stumps with pickaxes, and supported staff members as they shared Christ’s love with girls on the streets in the early hours of the morning.
|Students fold clothes at the Safe House of Hope in Baltimore.|
“Our team’s hearts were broken and unveiled as we listened to testimonies of girls who had been driven into a lifestyle … a kind of darkness many of us will never actually see,” Ragusa said. “We saw lives being transformed and people that have lived in darkness their whole life start to show a light in their eyes that is only from the Lord … through the (ministry) of Safe House of Hope and Gallery Church.”
A group of 10 students got a jump-start on the Center for Ministry Training’s Church Planting Emphasis Conference that took place this past week on Liberty’s campus by serving during the opening services of a Jackson, Tenn., church plant.
Timothy G. Moroz, lead ministry coordinator for the CMT, said these trips are necessary extensions of the classroom.
“Our goal with these trips is to take what the students are learning in the classroom and give them an opportunity to put it into practice,” he said.
The trips were open to all majors.
“Our heartbeat is that every student realize that ministry is not something that only pastors do, but rather something that we are each called to, both individually and collectively,” Moroz said.