The Friesen Center continued their tradition of using Spring Break as a week of ministry. They went to Panama City, Florida, to help with the clean-up efforts from Hurricane Michael, working alongside Samaritan’s Purse.
Ten students headed down to the Sunshine state from March 16-23, along with grad assistant Andrew Cherry and Norris Friesen, director of volunteer service and outreach ministry.
“Last year, we traveled to Rockport, Texas, in South Texas to help with hurricane cleanup and also worked with Samaritan’s Purse,” Friesen said. “We were impressed with the organization and supervision provided by Samaritan’s Purse, and the cost was reasonable.
Last fall when Hurricane Michael hit the Panama City area, the Friesen Center thought there might be an opportunity to help with the cleanup effort, so they checked with Samaritan’s Purse, which had openings the week HU had scheduled spring break.
Friesen thinks this kind of trip is important because it provides an opportunity to get a different perspective on life and to interact with people who need assistance.
“It is also an effective way of putting our faith into action,” Friesen said. “Sometimes, it is easy to say we are Christian but not do anything that gives evidence of our faith in Christ. These students are deciding to make a positive difference in someone else’s life and reflecting God’s love.”
He hopes students will have the opportunity to hear stories of hope and redemption in the midst of disaster. He also wants a byproduct of it to be new and meaningful friendships within their team as well as them taking a break from school and getting recharged to come back to finish this semester successfully.
“Most of all,” Friesen said, “I hope the students will grow in their relationship with Christ.”