More than 65 Belmont students, faculty and staff depart this weekend to locations across the country and the globe as part of alternative Spring Break trips. Several groups plan to “immerse themselves in love” as part of Immersion 2011, Belmont’s Spring Break mission trip programs sponsored by University Ministries. Every immersion is just that – a chance to be immersed in local culture, in the cares and concerns of local folks, and an intense exposure to what God is doing in all over the world. Students will be traveling to Cumberland Island (Ga.), New York City, Appalachia, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Haiti.
University Ministries’ Director of Outreach Micah Weedman said, “It’s our hope that by immersing themselves in service in these various locations, our students will have the opportunity to see what God is up to in the world and reflect on how God might be calling them.” Click the Read More button below to get more details on each location, and to follow blog entries from these trips, click here.
Also, Residence Life is leading a small group of students to Cleveland, Tenn. to work with Habitat for Humanity. Res Life is committed to working with Habitat here in Nashville and has sent a team to Cleveland for several years.
In addition, for the fifth consecutive year, the Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences & Nursing will be sending a team of health professionals and students to Guatemala for a Christian service project. The mission trip was originated in 2007 by students in the School of Physical Therapy. Since then, students and staff from the other allied health disciplines in the College have joined the annual effort. Last year, a multidisciplinary medical team of 36 travelled to Guatemala City, where they taught at a Christian high school serving one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods and at a local university, served over 400 individuals at a soup kitchen each evening, and helped treat and immunize patients at several area clinics.
This year, a team of 13 faculty, students and clinicians will provide supplies, direct patient care and train staff at the Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation and Infectious Diseases in Guatemala City and at the Shalom Foundation’s newly opened Moore Pediatric Surgery Center which will serve children from across the country. Team members have been invited to guest lecture in the physical therapy program at Mariano Galvez University of Guatemala and in the occupational therapy program at Centro Universitario Metropolitano. In addition, the group will be traveling to two rural clinics outside of Guatemala City to determine needs and seek opportunities to develop professional relationships with their Guatemalan colleagues.
Team members will again blog about their experience throughout the week. Click here to keep up with their efforts and read about previous trips.
This year Immersion groups will travel to a variety of places to serve in a number of different capacities:
Immersion.creation (Cumberland Island, Georgia) is a camping experience on remote Cumberland Island National Seashore, Cumberland Island, Ga., that involves immersion into the created world through intense camping experiences, service with the National Parks Service caring for the Park, and deep reflection on the role of Creation in God’s work in the world.
Immersion.urban (New York, New York) an immersion into the capital of all urban experiences, Manhattan and surrounding burroughs, working with diverse folks living in the wide variety of urban contexts-at-risk youth, those living with AIDS/HIV, those struggling for fair and affordable housing.
Immersion.poverty (Washington, D.C.) represents an immersion into the world of poverty in our nation’s capital, experiencing the cares and concerns of the nation’s and the world’s poor from the perspective of the streets as well as the halls of legislation.
Immersion.rural (Appalachian Mtns, West Virginia) takes a look into the often-overlooked rural world, specifically the world of the Appalachian mountains and the people who live in them, using the unique bonds of rural community as well as the struggles of rural poverty and land abuse.
Immersion.relief (Port-au-Prince, Haiti) is an immersion into what sustainable and long-term disaster relief and community re-building looks like on the ground, using the recent earthquake and hurricane in Haiti as the context for immersion into God’s own redemption of a broken world.
Immersion.justice (San Francisco, California) takes an intensive exploration of what justice means in practical contexts, learning from a variety of marginalized communities-legal and illegal immigrants, victims of human trafficking, gay and lesbian, among others-in one of the most socially active cities in our country, San Francisco.