Nearly 200 students participated in Spring Break Campaigns last week. Campaigners traveled to 10 different U.S. cities and four different countries.
Spring Break Campaigns are student-led missions in which students partner with a local church or nonprofit organization to work on making a difference in a community, according to the ACU website. Students often work with children and help build churches and buildings. Each SBC has at least two group leaders who undergo training to lead students into the field. Every campaign lasts the entire Spring Break.
Berkeley Wilks, sophomore elementary education major from Sugar Land went to New Orleans on her first SBC. The 18 students split up into three groups. Her group worked closely with kindergarten children in a classroom setting. Wilks assisted an elementary school class outside of downtown New Orleans. She read books, taught lessons and went over basic math with mostly underprivileged children.
“Schools in Louisiana are pretty bad,” Wilks said. “Some of the children were wearing the same clothes all week.”
After school, several of the children came to the church the campaigners partnered with. There, the campaigners played games with the children and talked to them about Jesus, Wilks said.
From the three groups on the New Orleans trip, one group built a sidewalk for a local Church of Christ.
Not every student who did mission work over Spring Break went on a campaign. Some traveled with families and students from other universities to do their own outreach. Kendra Unamba, sophomore nursing major from Arlington, traveled to Haiti.
Unamba and two other ACU students joined five University of Texas students and the Gautney family from Kansas City, Mo. Brad Gautney is the president of Global Health Innovations and an ACU alumnus.
Unamba and her team traveled to Lagosette, Haiti where they performed skits to teach children about the dangers of malaria. The team also passed out mosquito nets to teachers and nearly 200 kids in Lagosette and surrounding villages.
“I guess you could say [giving away mosquito nets] was the main purpose of our trip,” Unamba said. “Our focus was to be Christ-like.”
Unamba emphasized the language barrier she experienced in Haiti. Haitians speak mostly French and Haitian Creole. However, this language barrier did not stop them from finding common ground, she said.
“We still had fun,” Unamba said. “They were so accepting of our love.”
Unamba also said an unexpected craze brought the two cultures together: Bieber fever. She said many of the Haitian children enjoy songs by popular Canadian singer Justin Bieber.