BAKING FOR A CAUSE: Team members from the Jamaica spring break team sell baked goods to raise funds for the trip. (Photo contributed)
BAKING FOR A CAUSE: Team members from the Jamaica spring break team sell baked goods to raise funds for their trip. (Photo contributed by Rachel TerMarsch)

Three teams are departing on service trips over spring break. Two of them are traveling overseas – one to Honduras and the other to Jamaica – while the third is serving in New York City.

The New York City team will be serving in Harlem through Experience Mission, an organization that provides mission opportunities for youth and college students. The team consists of 15 total members, 12 of which are students from the university.

The team will be helping the community by serving in a soup kitchen each day and getting involved in after-school programs and clubs, trip co-leader Abbie Thiebaut said. The team will also help children with homework and get plugged into other activities as requested.

Thiebaut had an internship in New York City with Experience Mission over the summer, and said she is excited to serve the city again, this time with a whole team.

“Getting to go back with a new perspective will be really awesome,” she said.

The team will be working with both adults and children in need.

“The whole trip is about building relationships with people,” Thiebaut said. “It’s a mutual beneficial experience that both sides can learn from.”

Even though the United States is not a developing nation, Thiebaut said service is still important.

“There is such a need for love,” she said, “especially in the U.S.”

Thirteen players from the men and women’s soccer teams will be traveling overseas to  serve in Jamaica. They will be working on a housing project and running soccer camps for the youth, senior and team member Rachel TerMarsch said.

TerMarsch said not only will the camps be designed to teach students proper soccer techniques, but they will provide an opportunity for the team to make a deeper impact on the local people.

“[The camps are] a tool to get to know the people and spread the love of Christ,” TerMarsch said.

Making connections can be easier for the team because they share a mutual love for the game.

“I’m really excited that we already have that common bond and common love,” TerMarsch said.

Also traveling overseas will be the Honduras team, serving in the city of Le Ceiba. Under the leadership of Global Ministries, they will teach English and help lead sport ministries, Bible studies and other youth-group activities with the local students, junior and team member Kaleb Schlatter said.

Schlatter said he is curious to understand the students’ perspectives on different cultures.

“I’m interested in knowing how [they] think about the English language, North American culture and Christianity as a whole,” he said.

The trip will also provide an opportunity to make meaningful and life-impacting connections, Schlatter said.

“I’m looking forward to building relationships with the team, the people of Honduras and [Christ] before, during and after the trip,” Schlatter said.

The teams will be having various fundraisers until spring break – selling t-shirts, bake sales, Pizza Hut nights, hot chocolate sales, spaghetti dinners, among a few – to help raise funds for their trips.