Last year, Palm Beach Atlantic University sophomore Sarah Walsh heard several inspirational stories from her friends who spent their spring break on a PBA mission trip in Jamaica.
This year, it’s Walsh who is co-leading a team of nine students to Jamaica, where the team will work in partnership with the Christian organization 2 All Nations.
Palm Beach Atlantic University students enjoy painting with children in Honduras during a spring break trip in March 2011. PBA is a private, accredited, Christ-centered college located in West Palm Beach, Florida, USA.
Palm Beach Atlantic University students enjoy painting with children in Honduras during a spring break trip in March 2011.
Walsh, a native of Danbury, Wis., who is double majoring in Christian social ministry and student ministries, said the PBA team will be sharing their faith in urban areas, conducting youth outreach and visiting a girls’ home and an orphanage, among other activities.
“My heart is especially with the girls’ home that we’re visiting, so I am just ready to show Christ’s love through my words and my actions to these girls,” Walsh said. “I am so excited to build relationships with all the people I meet and just to build a deep community with my team.”
In all, more than 90 PBA students will serve on nine mission teams in places like Bolivia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras and Jamaica during spring break week March 5-9. Many of the teams are departing today, and others will leave throughout the weekend.
Some of the students have served on mission teams previously, either with the University or with their churches.
Morgan Baker, a junior from San Antonio, Texas, is part of team of 10 students who will be serving in another area of the Caribbean. Baker has participated in trips to Asia previously, “but I told God that I would go anywhere He leads me,” he said.
The teams are student-led, and the students all have worked for months to raise money for the trips.
One team of female students, most of them members of the University’s Cross-Cultural Living Learning Community in Baxter Residence Hall, raised money for their trip to the Dominican Republic by selling concessions in the lobby of Baxter Hall and during PBA’s Sailfish Cup competition. They also sent letters to ask for support.
The six-member team will work with a church in Santo Domingo doing children’s and women’s programs and service projects, said Amy Burroughs, resident director for Baxter Residence Hall.
A second PBA team also is traveling to the Dominican Republic, where the students will assist a local church with work projects and will build relationships with youth in the mountain community of Peralta.
Two PBA teams also will be traveling to different parts of Brazil. The Rio team will assist a local church with after-school tutoring and sports activities, while the Amazon team will assist with local medical clinics and work with the youth in area villages.