Director of Campus Ministry reflects on mission trip

Spring Break Mission Trip traveled to South Carolina


Erin O'Neill

Freshman Gabe Landeros participates in the field day activities.

Madi Tran, Reporter

This year’s Spring Break Mission Trip traveled to John’s Island, South Carolina.

The trip has changed throughout the years.

“The trip has evolved in the 15 years that we’ve done it. We started out with two vans of kids and a cargo van, and it grew from probably 15 kids to about 75 kids,” Director of Campus Ministry Mrs. Charlene Witka said.

The group of students did a numerous amount of services at different locations. “This year we worked with Habitat for Humanity Charleston, we worked with Sea Island Habitat for Humanity, we worked with a school on John’s Island and then we worked with a company called CHIPS, which stands for community housing improvement,” Witka said.

Witka connected personally with an employee at Frierson, which is the school the mission trip assisted.

Witka said, “I was at the school, and there’s a woman there by the name of Mrs. Mitchell who works at the desk. She does everything she knows all the kids names and whatnot, so myself and the other adult with me, Sarah Fox, we helped Mrs. Mitchell. She said that what we did would’ve taken her a week to do.”

The mission trip not only was about serving others, but it was about getting in touch with the faith.

“My personal favorite part of the trip was our reflection time. It’s where we go every evening. We go to the chapel and reflect on our day and we share with each other the outreaches that we worked on and how we’ve seen God,” Witka said.

Witka said the trip affected her Lenten experience for the better. “The scripture verse Matthew 25 tells us to feed the poor and to be Christlike to people we meet and when I think of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, which is what we reflect on during lent, we don’t even come close to what he’s done,” Witka said.

Witka got the chance to familiarize herself with the students while on the trip. “I feel like I connected with the students through just being encouraging to them, and telling them what a good job they’ve been doing. and answering any questions they might have and just taking care of them,” Witka said.

“Students were able to be around other students they might not have known prior to the trip. “It was really kind of neat because we do small groups and we don’t do freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors. They get all mixed up and that way they get to know each other and we do that during our reflection time,” Witka said.

Planning for next year’s mission trip has already started. Witka said, “We’ve already got our reservations into the place where we go, which is St. Christopher’s, so all the lodging is done and Mrs. Fox will be working on securing the outreaches.”

Witka says there are multiple reasons why students should go on next year’s mission trip.

Witka said, “Well, I think students should go on the trip next year because it is a great alternative spring break where you are still at a beach and the weather’s warm. You also can get your service hours done and you build relationships with each other.”