CU students spend Christmas break serving others in Texas, New York, Northern Ireland and Nicaragua

March 10, 2010
For Immediate Release


By Christina Miller, student news writer

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.—Washing children’s feet and giving them a new pair of shoes, shopping for Christmas presents, spending time with and witnessing to youth and a city of homeless… that’s what Campbellsville University students did on their Christmas break.

Forty Campbellsville University students gave up part of their Christmas break to spend it ministering to those in Arlington, Texas, New York City, Northern Ireland, and Managua, Nicaragua.

Holly Davidson, a Campbellsville University freshman from Danville, Ky., holds Julietta while she eats her one meal of the day. Julietta lives in the dump in La Chureca in Managua, Nicaragua. (Campbellsville University Photo by Christina Miller)
Holly Davidson, a Campbellsville University freshman from Danville, Ky., holds Julietta while she eats her one meal of the day. Julietta lives in the dump in La Chureca in Managua, Nicaragua. (Campbellsville University Photo by Christina Miller)

“Every team had a challenge to meet and worked tirelessly preparing to go and, then, in their respective ministries on the field,” said Ed Pavy, campus minister at Campbellsville University.

The team ministering in Arlington, Texas, was a part of 322 professions of faith made, and over 1,100 other spiritual decisions. This team of students worked in the Christmas store at Mission Arlington, which provides Christmas presents for children in need.

Deborah Dean, a junior from Maryland who led the team to Arlington, said, “This is a place that works all year round to provide for people who need different things such as healthcare, food, clothing, and a church/Bible study to attend. During the Christmas season they saw that a lot of people were using their rent money or their money for their bills on Christmas gifts for their children.”

That is why the Christmas Store was started. Those who are in need can come to the store, hear the real Christmas story in Spanish or English, and “shop” for presents for their children.

The Christmas Store is run by donations only, and received over 100,000 gifts to give out.

“The faces of some of the parents as they pick out gifts for their children are unforgettable,” Dean said. “They tell us that without these few gifts, their children would not have any sort of Christmas.

“We often take for granted how much we have, but going to Mission Arlington makes me appreciate how much I have been given.”
Another team went to New York City to work at the New York City Rescue Mission homeless shelter.

Natasha West, a senior from Hustonville, Ky., said, “I knew I was going to help by serving them in whatever way they needed, such as cleaning, office work, doing dishes and serving the meals, but I had no idea the amazing relationships I would create with the people who live there.”

The team thought they were going on a mission trip to bless others, but instead got a blessing in return.

“I saw more servant hearts in that place, where people had nothing, than I do here where we all have so much,” West said. “I was really inspired and became even more thankful for each and every thing or person I have in my life. The day we left I started to cry, because I realized that they weren’t just random people in need anymore, they were my friends.”

Another team traveled to Northern Ireland working at Project Evangelism and spending their time building relationships with teens who are very tough to reach with the gospel.

Derek Morris, a sophomore from Harrodsburg, Ky., said, “It was encouraging to see what the Lord has done there through Project Evangelism, but at the same time it was discouraging because they still have such a great need for the gospel of Christ.”

A group of 12 students traveled to a third-world country, Managua, Nicaragua, to work with and minister to children.

The team spent time at several feeding programs, an orphanage and La Chureca, a dump where 4,000 people live. At the feeding programs, the team gave out flip flops to the children, and at one feeding program the team washed the feet of the Nicaraguans and gave them a new pair of shoes.

Tommy Cundiff, a non-traditional student from Campbellsville who traveled to Nicaragua, was very touched by the entire trip and spending time with some of the poorest children in the Western Hemisphere. He said, “It changed my life, and it made me a better Christian, husband and dad. I fell in love with God again, and the young people who went with me.”

More Campbellsville University mission teams will be sent out over spring break to Costa Rica, Michigan, Florida and the Jefferson Street Center in Louisville.

Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2010 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 23rd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South and fourth in “up-and-coming” schools in the south. CU has been ranked 17 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges® and to G.I. Jobs magazine as a Military Friendly School. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his 11th year as president.