Spring Break Missionaries

Carrie Feistner

Carrie Feistner

Spring break is just around the corner, March 6 to 14. While many people are spending the week lying on a Mexican beach, many religious groups will be taking missions trips around the nation. Here are just a few of those.

Catholic Campus Parish

The Catholic Campus Parish (CCP) has gone on mission trips during spring break for the past 14 years. Sister Joan Marie arranges the trips every year and said she enjoys the outcome.

“It’s one of my favorite projects because of the results,” she said. “People working in third-world countries said their interest sparked on mission trips during spring break.”

There are three places groups are driving to this year. One group will go to Holly Springs, Mississippi, where they will work in a housing project. A second group will go to Eagle Butte to do activities, learn the culture and distribute food. The third group will go to Camp Gray, near the Wisconsin Dells, to clean, build, chop wood and do general maintenance around the area.

There are usually three options, which grew out of increased demand and to offer people a different place to go each year. There are many reasons for attending the trips, Sister Joan Marie said.

“It exposes our students, particularly from rural areas, to different parts of the country. It’s also a way of bonding among students and to become involved in CCP after that,” she said. “It’s also an alternative experience to other spring break activities. They’re helping others and working with youth. There’s a spiritual element that goes with it.”

All trips cost $75 and are open to anyone but space is limited to 34 people.

The deadline for signing up is Feb. 24.

Campus Crusade

Campus Crusade for Christ is also offering three mission trips this spring break. The large trip is a $295 trip to Panama City Beach, Fla. Seven students will be taking part in that trip.

Crusade Director Brian Kolling explained, “It’s a conference we go to and then we do some creative outreach right there on the beach.”

He added that it was a good way for students to explore their faith.

“It’s a great opportunity to learn things at the conference and also to apply them right away.”

The other trips offered by Crusade are shorter trips to Native American reservations — one in Mission, S.D., and one to Pine Ridge.

“It’s a great opportunity to learn more about a different culture,” Kolling said.

The trips have a lot in common, he said.

“Both of these trips are opportunities to learn and opportunities to share the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.”

The chance to sign up for these trips is open until Feb. 23.


Seven SDSU students will join 12 students from Dakota State University for an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship trip to Juarez, Mexico. The group has gone there for over 15 years and will be doing evangelism and service. InterVarsity Staff Member Zach Conrad is leading the trip with his wife Janna, and said the experience will be beneficial for college students.

“I think that it’s important for any college student to see how the majority of the world lives like and to have an understanding of what they have and have been blessed with in United States,” Conrad said. “From a Christian viewpoint, we are commanded in scripture to love one another and this is an easy way to do that. It’s showing God’s love in a practical way.”

On the trip, which will cost about $500, they will be doing a variety of projects, which include working in the area of Bello Horizonte, teaching in schools, building, working at an after school program, praying with families in the neighborhoods and doing street evangelism in the marketplace.

“My expectations are to offer students an opportunity to see that the world is bigger than what they see here in America and to see God is at work in more than just where they live but at work all over the world,” Conrad said. “I also want them to have the opportunity to help people that are in need and build into them a desire to help out people in need where they live. The most important thing to me is wanting them to ask the question ‘Is God calling me to missions?'”

The sign-up deadline for the trip has passed.

University Lutheran Center

University Lutheran Center students are going to El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico. The 13 students and one adult will be flying there to spend time working, learning the culture and having fun. Campus Pastor Bob Chell said he hopes students will learn to enrich the world.

“We’re going to come away with an increased awareness of the complexity of the social and economic issues that are at the root of poverty and problems with it,” he said.

The group goes on a trip every year, and has been to places like Washington, D.C., Jamaica, Denver and Atlanta. Chell said students will feel rewarded with this opportunity.

“I think at some level all of us want a life with purpose and meaning. I think what attracts students to the spring break trips we offer is the exotic locations, but what they value most when they return was the encounter with people different from themselves and the opportunity to do work which is challenging and rewarding,” he said.

Students will be busy participating in after-school programs, touring different sites, doing Bible studies and worship and doing work projects.

Nicole Becker has been on two previous trips and said she is looking forward to the experience this year.

“We went to Washington, D.C. last year and worked with homeless shelters and food pantries. It gave us the opportunity to get out of our comfort zones and do something to help people over spring break,” Becker said. “[This year] we’ll be working with social service agencies to help immigrants. I hope to explore the cultural diversity and get to know people.”

Students pay $75 for the trip and fundraising will cover the rest of the actual cost of $535. The numbers are limited for transportation and housing. Students can no longer sign up to go, so Chell suggests getting involved with monthly service projects.