OC students serve around the world on Spring Break

Mar 16, 2018

This spring break, Oklahoma Christian University students will trade sandy beaches and relaxation for construction sites and children's programs. 

OC is passionate about giving students the opportunity to participate in mission work around the world. Through the Bible department, the Outreach program and local congregations, students have the opportunity to participate in several spring break mission trips.

OC organizes three trips through its Outreach program. Outreach is a student-led mission- and service-minded organization, and it is one of the oldest student organizations on campus. This year, the trips allow students to work with small congregations in Marshall, Illinois, Carnegie, Oklahoma or Boles Children’s Home in Quinlan, Texas.

Outreach Faculty Sponsor Jennifer Gray is the associate dean of the College of Natural Health Sciences at OC. Gray believes these trips are a great opportunity for students from different backgrounds to grow closer to God while developing new relationships and serving others.

“There is a [sense of] refreshment that comes from serving other people, getting in a new environment and being able to have the opportunity to give back,” Gray said. “I think it often gives students a fresh perspective.”

Similarly, Edmond Church of Christ is taking more than 80 college students to McAllen, Texas over spring break. They will work with a local missionary whom the congregation supports.

On this trip, students will assemble and distribute care packages, put on a vacation Bible school and work on home construction, renovation and repair.

Evan Burkett, the college minister at Edmond Church of Christ, has led the campus ministry spring break trip for 10 years. He believes giving students the chance to put their faith into action is key to their spiritual development.

“We always strive to have the heart, mind and hands of Jesus,” Burkett said. “Trips like this help us to engage in all three. It’s also a great time for the college group to coalesce and grow closer to one another. The spirit of unity is so evident during these times.”

Memorial Road Church of Christ is another local church providing a mission opportunity over the break.

For the first half of the trip, the campus ministry is staying local, partnering with Capitol Hill Church of Christ. Students will renovate Capitol Hill’s sharing center and help run the church’s spring break program. For the second half of the break, Memorial Road students will go to Arkansas for a retreat to fellowship and rest.

Hudson Hutchinson is the campus minister at Memorial Road. He emphasized the value rest has as a habit for spiritual development.

“God is always at work,” Hutchinson said. “Each time we partake in his mission, whether that is in McAllen, Oklahoma City, Uganda or wherever we are, it is all pointing us back to the reconciling work of God we are called to participate in. My hope is for these trips to give students a taste of a full life. The work of God is good, the work of God is meaningful and the work of God is enjoyable.”

OC Bible Professor Dudley Chancey will take a group of students to Honduras. They will build houses, operate medical clinics, teach Bible studies and English lessons, encourage local churches and visit children's homes.

“These trips are a chance to see the world. It shows students that God is going to do his mission whether we go or not,” Chancey said. “It is a chance [for students] to see if a longer term mission commitment might be inside of them. It blesses the giver and the receiver. It is obedience to God, as we are all ambassadors of Christ.”