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Campbellsville University has 18 students on winter break mission trips

For Immediate Release

 Taiwanese school children gather around CU students Jeremy Cheatham and Bethany Thomaston during their mission trip to Taipei, teaching them about the Nativity Story. (CU Photo provided by Bethany Thomaston)
Taiwanese school children gather around CU students Jeremy Cheatham and Bethany Thomaston during their mission trip to Taipei, teaching them about the Nativity Story. (CU Photo provided by Bethany Thomaston)

By Hanna Hall, student news writer

Jordan Snider, a Campbellsville University freshman from Louisville Ky., learned on a Christmas break mission trip “all anyone needs is love.”

Snider, one of 18 CU students on mission trips, served in Guatemala working at an orphanage and said, “All the kids in the orphanage want is love. The people that we visited just want love. Everything we do should be done in love.”

While in Guatemala students also helped out the state orphanage by providing donations, teaching activities to the special needs children and feeding the babies.

Campbellsville University had four mission trip teams that visited Louisiana, Guatemala, Taiwan and Northern Ireland over the winter break.

Over spring break, the football team will go to a prison ministry in central Florida. They will play softball and share the gospel with inmates.

About 20 students will share ministry among collegiate spring breakers for Beach Reach in Panama City, Fla. A team of 10 will work with “Homes from the Heart” in El Salvador. This organization builds home for families who have had their homes destroyed in mudslides.

A team of eight will work through the North American Mission Board “SEND” emphasis to reach under served areas in Cincinnati, Ohio.

A group from the School of Education will retire to Belize over spring break and to Italy in May


Taylor Ohlmann, a CU sophomore from Louisville, said her Christmas mission trip “confirmed my calling and my passions for children, Spanish, teaching and adoption,”

Another mission trip in Huehuetenango, Guatemala had students working at a boy’s home where they helped construct extra living quarters for orphans, laid concrete floor and built relationships with the orphans.

Leighton Lavey, a CU sophomore from Mayfield, Ky., chose to be a part of this mission trip “to show orphan boys that they have a father out there who calls them intimate son and to give them hope in their hopeless circumstances.”

They worked with Mark Wakefield, a 1997 graduate of Campbellsville University, who had taken 17 orphan boys off the streets and given them a house.

Four CU students visited Grand Isle, La., for a mission trip where they helped First Baptist Church Pastor John Boss with various projects and ministries at the church and within the community.

“I learned a lot about the Lord and how sovereign he is over the little details. God grew me in greater ways of trust and patience with myself and others,” Katlin Weeks, a CU senior from Louisville.

Five CU students spent Christmas in Taiwan where they taught English classes and helped with Christmas parties and church services. They were able to attend local schools to play games, sing songs, preform skits and teach students the Christmas story.

“I was unable to spend Christmas with my family, but instead I was in a classroom teaching children who had never heard of the reason why we celebrate Christmas. I would not have traded that for the world,” Bethany Thomaston, a CU junior from Auburn, Ky.

“It was so good to get away from the way America commercializes Christmas and truly reflect on the one reason why it matters — Jesus.”

This was Jeremy Cheatham’s first mission trip. He believed the highlight of his trip was meeting the people he got to meet and openly sharing with them. “I feel I really learned from another culture. Even if they were nonbelievers, they accepted us and listened to what we had to say with intent.”

“I really enjoyed my time there and would love to return someday,” Cheatham, a sophomore from Bradfordsville, Ky., said.

Jenna Rueff, a junior from Louisville, also participated in a mission trip to Dundrum, Northern Ireland with her home church. While in Dundrum, Rueff partnered with Revival In Our Town (RIOT), a youth center that has opened the door for the spreading of the gospel to the local youth.

Rueff said the hardest part of the trip was “going to Belfast and seeing the peace walls that separated Catholics and Protestants. Knowing that religion is so tained by politics in Ireland broke my heart.”

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is