George Fox students spend spring break serving others
Each year, George Fox sends teams of students to locales throughout the region to perform service projects during spring break.
More than 60 students from George Fox University will spend their weeklong spring break serving others during the university’s annual Spring Serve.
During the week of March 23-30, students will travel to assist Washington-based ministries in five cities – Seattle, Naches, Neah Bay, Rimrock Lake and Burlington – as well as to Utah and San Francisco to work on service projects in various cross-cultural settings. Each team will include between eight and 11 participants, as well as one faculty advisor.
The following are descriptions of the seven trips:
- A team will serve at The Flying H Ranch, located 30 miles west of Yakima, Wash. The ranch ministers to at-risk youth aged 8 to 16. On this trip the group will be doing physical labor, including building a fence and splitting wood, as well as spending time with the boys in worship, devotions, meals, games and conversation.
- A team will travel to Neah Bay, Wash., to work on the Makah Indian Reservation. The trip will include working to maintain the environmental habitat on the reservation as well as doing maintenance work. Along with these service aspects of the trip, the team will also learn about the culture and history of the Makah tribe, building relationships as they work in the local community.
- A team will visit Ghormley Meadow Christian Camp near Rimrock Lake, Wash., to tackle various work projects. Jobs will include painting, burning brush, deep cleaning, small renovation projects and office work.
- A group will work with several ministries in the Seattle area focusing on building relationships and serving through work projects, tutoring, administrative assistance and cleaning.
- A team will go to Utah to deliver the gospel message and perform service projects.
- A group will visit Burlington, Wash., to give students the opportunity to learn about creative approaches to ministry through focused learning about sustainability in ministry, social justice and building relationships.
- A group will travel to San Francisco to learn from and serve in partnership with several organizations in the city, including the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center (serving the city’s Tenderloin District), Project Open Hand (which delivers hot meals daily to more than 2,000 living with HIV and AIDS), Laguna Honda Hospital, the St. Vincent’s Day Home and the Alameda Food Bank.
Participating students are selected through an application process. They pay part of the costs of their trips, which are subsidized by the student government. Each of the trips has a faculty, staff, or alumni leader, assisted by two undergraduate student leaders.
The trips are part of the university’s commitment to Christian service, which also includes an annual day of service for which the university closes; community service projects that reach out to Newberg, Ore., and surrounding communities; and an urban services program that sends students to Portland and Salem, Ore., to build relationships with the homeless.“Serving with passion, part of our mission statement, goes ‘hand in work-glove’ with being a community that aims to bear witness to Christ,” said Rusty St. Cyr, associate pastor of ministry and service at the university. “This is why we invite students into experiments with God’s truth in the laboratory of life outside of our campus, even taking advantage of short-term, one- to three-week experiences that weave together cultural immersion and ‘come-alongside’ service assisting organizations dedicated long term to their neighbors in need.”