A group of ACU students will be spending their spring break in Haiti for a medical mission trip.
Cynthia Powell, assistant professor in chemistry and pre-medical advisor will be accompanying students on the trip. It will be her second trip to Haiti with her husband, Greg Powell, professor of chemistry.
“A group of ACU students are joining a larger medical team that will be going,” Cynthia Powell said.
All the students are pre-health majors, including pre-med, pre-PT and pre-dental students.
Students will assist and support a staff of physicians and nurses doing anything from handing out food to holding babies and praying over those waiting in line at the medical station. The team is also planning a construction project and community outreach project.
Like any week-long mission trip, there are limitations to what can be done.
“I think it’s important to realize in one week we’re not going to change the country of Haiti, we’re not going to convert a bunch of people but we can go and support the medical staff that is on site year-round,” Powell said.
The trip is no longer affiliated with Spring Break Campaigns, but is sponsored by Live Beyond/Mobile Medical Disaster Relief, founded by ACU alumni David and Laurie Vanderpool. It began when students got in touch with the Vanderpools and suggested the trip. For the past few years, between 15 and 20 students have attended each year. The Haiti trip is a recent addition to the Guatemala trip that has been offered to ACU students for many years.
“It’s an important experience for students to be in a third-world setting, to see how poverty impacts people,” Powell said. “I think our students come back understanding a lot of the challenges relating to poverty and health care in the world.”
Students often leave the trip and ACU determined to make a difference in their community or to return to a medical mission or clinic full time, Powell said.
Students have the opportunity to talk about their experiences together upon their return to ACU.
“I think it’s a great reminder of how incredibly blessed we are,” Powell said. “I always tell my students that I am changed.”