Oral Roberts University teams took part in missions outreach during Spring Break
By Natasha Mitchell ('94)
About 10 teams with a total of 134 missionaries from Oral Roberts University traveled domestically and internationally during Spring Break (March 17-25).
"It is rare to find such a large number of college students who would willingly sacrifice money, time, and comfort to give up their Spring Break to serve others," said Bobby Parks, director of ORU Missions and Outreach. "Amidst their busy school, work and social responsibilities, ORU Missions students exemplified what it means to "Live THE Story" by sharing the greatest story ever told through their actions of sacrifice and service. The stories we hear from the students when they get back is evidence that many lives were changed through their time on the field, but my prayer is that all of their lives will be marked with a greater understanding of their Kingdom calling from what they learned and lived during the whole process leading up to and during the trip."
The teams visited the following locations:
- Mercy Ministries – Sacramento (6 members) - Mercy Ministries provides a place of recovery and safety for young women who are coming out of abusive situations or trying to overcome damaging, life controlling issues such as alcoholism or eating disorders. Build relationships, share your testimony, and encourage women with Christ's love, in Sacramento. According to the team's blog, they did "a lot of projects: organizing the 'Blessings' closet, sitting front desk, doing paperwork, and running errands. We enjoy working on the projects but love spending time with the girls!"
- Wilmington (9 members) – Students joined Urban Promise, an inner-city ministry that builds relationships with the youth of Wilmington, Del. During the trip, students helped with facilitating after-school programs, Bible studies, and work projects at Urban Promise.
- Puerto Rico (13 members) – Students traveled to Puerto Rico to engage with a vibrant culture in a wide array of ministry opportunities. They ministered to many in small group services and on street corners, at school engaging young kids in their academics, and helped renovate a ministry house. ORU student Kyle Ng, Puerto Rico said, "During street ministry, we met a couple who had just lost their friend to suicide the day before. We were able to pray and minister hope and peace to them and show them the truth of God. Priceless."
- Mercy Ministries – St. Louis (8 members) - Mercy Ministry provides a place of recovery and safety for young women who are coming out of abusive situations or trying to overcome damaging, life controlling issues such as alcoholism or eating disorders. Students built relationships, shared testimonies, and encouraged these women in St. Louis. ORU student Ellie Cogles said, "I have been amazed at the way God has used each of teammates to reach specific women at Mercy. The teamwork on our team has been awesome. I've learned more about how to work through interpersonal conflict and come out stronger and more loving towards each other."
- New York (7 members) – Students ministered to the people of New York City and participated in serving in homeless shelters, feeding the hungry, encouraging those in rehabilitation, and sharing the gospel.
- New Mexico (8 members) – Students traveled to New Mexico and worked with Apple Tree Education Center and the town's Boys and Girls Club in building relationships with young children and teenagers. In the past, teams were able to help Apple Tree with marketing, medical screening, teaching classes and community outreach.
- Miami, Fla. (7 members) – Students worked with His House Children's Home to restore joy and peace in the lives of children. Many of these children, from newborns to 18-year-old young adults, were refugees or have transitioned out of the foster care system and from homes filled with abuse, neglect, and drugs. At His House, the students were able to care for and minister directly into the children's lives through crafts, worship, and sports as well as aid His House through renovations, gardening, and office work.
- Dominican Republican (11 members) - Students reached out to the people of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in a practical way – medicine. The team helped set up and run clinics, work with local doctors and nurses, and share the love of God. The team shared their experience via a blog post: "Today, we had the wonderful opportunity to visit an orphanage for special children. Some of these kids were thrown into garbage cans as babies and abandoned. It was a very humbling experience for all of us. We are all so thankful for the blessings that we have such as health, wholeness, and joy. It was such a great experience to spend time with the children and show them the love of Christ. We all took part in feeding them and playing music and doing a drama."
- Atlanta (47 members) - A group of 47 college student leaders, who will be leading missions trips this summer with ORU Missions and Music to the Nations, ministered to refugees from around the world, illegal immigrants in the Hispanic community of Atlanta, and Russian/Ukrainian junior high and high school students in Atlanta as part of their Leader Training missions trip. This was the group's fourth year working in Atlanta. The goal is to give students ministry and leadership training in a cross-cultural environment, strengthen partnership of local ministries and serve the city of Atlanta.
- Haiti Nursing/Education (two faculty members, 11 students) – The ORU College of Education and the Anna Vaughn College of Nursing went on a joint missions trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to help children reach their full potential. Teaming up with Fishers of Men Ministries International, ORU nursing and education majors gained first-hand experience volunteering at the orphanage run by the ministry. Debi Lammert, an ORU nursing faculty member, and Jean Mosely, an ORU education faculty member, joined the students. The students ministered to about 140 children in need of assessment and medical care.
For more information on ORU Outreach, go to http://www.oruoutreach.com.