One of the really great things about working in campus ministry is that I still get to celebrate things like Spring Break and a 2-week Christmas break. Last week I went down to Bay St. Louis, MS with a group of 30 from La Roche College. It was an AWESOME week. I have to be honest, I was a little apprehensive about the trip at the start. I only knew 3 of the 18 students who were coming. Along with that, we had four men from my coworker TR's church, the College Activity director from La Roche, and three nuns coming with us. I was really just praying that we would all get along!!! As it turns out, that was the least of my worries. The kids got along with each other really well, and they all bonded with the "old guys." And we would have been NOWHERE without Sister Elena, Sister Rose, and Sister Judy.
Surprisingly, our biggest problem was that we didn't have enough work to do! We spent a lot of time cleaning, one particularly long afternoon picking up trash from along the roadside, and even had a nap or two in the middle of the day. The kids were complaining that they didn't feel like they were working hard enough! They really just wanted to help people. Thankfully, though, by the end of the week, we had some more projects, and I think all of the kids felt fulfilled and that the trip was worthwhile.
Though the trip was through a religious organization (a partnership between our CCO fellowship group and the La Roche Campus Ministry dept.), I don't believe all the kids were religious. I hope that last week we were able to "live Jesus" for them. But I think the most exciting thing was that we were able to really live out community with each other -- community that is not divided by denominations or rituals, community that is able to learn and accept and love.
There are oodles of pictures on Facebook, if you care to take a look. We had great worship, hard workers, and a LOT of laughter! God really blessed us on this spring break trip. Thanks for all your prayers!