Students to serve over spring break

More than 200 students, faculty and staff from Northwestern College will travel across the United States and overseas for the college’s annual Spring Service Projects (SSP) March 2–11.

Northwestern students will serve at 14 sites around the world during spring break, including at the Cary Christian Center in Cary, Miss., where students did building maintenance, painted and assisted with after-school programs last year.

This year’s teams will serve at 14 sites. International destinations include Brazil, the Netherlands, Haiti and Nicaragua. Members of the men’s soccer team will fly to Rio de Janeiro before traveling to Belo Horizonte, where they will work with after-school soccer programs in the slums. In Amsterdam, students will live and work at two Christian youth hostels, sharing their faith with guests from around the world. The team in Haiti will teach children, distribute food and provide manual labor, while those in Nicaragua will do construction work and help lead a vacation Bible school in the impoverished area of Bluefields.

Teams in the U.S. will travel to Minnesota, the South, and both coasts. In California, students will partner with Compton’s Emmanuel Reformed Church to paint a home and build relationships with people living in southeast Los Angeles. Students spending their spring break in Jacksonville, Fla., will volunteer in local schools with after-school programs.

Two teams are heading to Minnesota, where one will teach English to Somalian immigrants in Minneapolis, and another will interact with youth and participate in work projects and a community snow carnival on the Grand Portage Indian Reservation.

Additional U.S. service opportunities include an after-school program and community improvement projects in Jonesboro, Ark.; after-school programs and construction projects in New Orleans; and construction, tutoring and community cleanup in Opelousas, La. Still other Northwestern students will assist with a dental clinic and child education programs in Cary, Miss.; work in a free health clinic and learn about urban ministry and racial reconciliation in Jackson, Miss.; and serve with a ministry to ex-prisoners in Lindale, Texas.

Spring Service Project members raise their own travel funds through their individual families, friends and churches and also through fundraisers on campus and in the community.

Northwestern College’s short-term mission programs bear the Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Missions (SOE) seal, ensuring that participating organizations get NWC mission teams that are of high quality. SOE standards include adequate pre-trip training and resources, as well as consistent post-trip follow-up and accountability.