Students prepare for mission trips

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WAYNESBURG – Forty Waynesburg University students and six faculty and staff members will spend their winter break serving various organizations. Four mission trips will be offered by the university, allowing students the opportunity to serve outside of the Waynesburg community, both domestically and abroad.


The projects include a medical mission trip in Nassau, Bahamas; Mustard Seed Communities in Montego Bay, Jamaica; Trans World Radio in Bonaire, Central America; and a service trip working alongside Global Village and Mission Work Camp in Hampton, Ga.


Nassau, Bahamas

From Sunday to Jan. 11, 10 students and trip leader Dr. Terri Small, professor of nursing at Waynesburg University, will hold a health clinic at Victory Chapel Church of the Nazarene in Nassau, Bahamas. This will be the university’s fifth medical mission trip and its second to the Bahamas.


Joining the team as additional trip leaders will be Small’s husband, Steve, a pharmacist and graduate of Waynesburg University, and Drew Cubic, a practicing registered nurse. This year’s service mission team will follow similar procedures from past years by providing health screenings and medications to Haitian refugees living in Nassau.


“I anticipate that the trip will be very rewarding, as in the past, and I expect all to be blessed by the people we serve,” Small said.


Most Haitian refugees have little or no access to health care in Nassau. By partnering with Mission Academy, a student ministries short-term mission trip organization, Waynesburg University nursing students will have the opportunity to serve this population. The students will apply their nursing skills accumulated through their semesters at Waynesburg.


“Pastor Antoine St. Louis, the senior pastor and teacher at the church we serve, is quite inspiring,” said Small. “Students previously described him as having ‘dancing eyes and a spirit we’d like to bottle and bring home with us.’”


Students participating in the mission service trip include Mary Chory, a junior from Bobtown; Myriah Cox, a junior from Mt. Morris; Rachel Handley, a junior from Dillsburg; Julie James, a junior from Conneaut Lake; Bekah Jardine, a junior from Kittery, Maine; Kiersha Keller, a junior from Palmyra; Olivia Knowlson, a junior from Washington; Samantha Maize, a junior from Finleyville; Shayla Mitrik, a junior from Pittsburgh; and Carri Sneller, a junior from Waynesburg.


Montego Bay, Jamaica

From Friday to Jan. 12, 12 students, along with trip leaders Tom Ribar, chaplain at the university, and Russell Schneider, a resident director at the university, will serve at Mustard Seed Communities, a ministry to disabled and abandoned children, in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The service mission team will provide manual labor and work with children in the children’s homes.


Students participating in the mission service trip include Tanya Aul, a junior from Kane; Brittney Bell, a senior from Clarksville; Chelsea Bradford, a sophomore from Holland, N.Y.; Benjamin Carpenter, a senior from Columbus; Katherine Fletcher, a junior from Waynesburg; Stephen Haynes, a sophomore from Smithton; Erica Nordlund, a sophomore from Oak Harbor, Ohio; Andrew Rose, a junior from Spanish Fort, Ala.; Paige Shifflett, a junior from Bloomsburg; Jacob Shultz, a sophomore from Hermitage; Adrea Siciliano, a senior from Finleyville; and Katlin Unrue, a senior from Uhrichsville, Ohio.


Bonaire, Central America

From Friday to Jan. 12, eight students, along with trip leaders Chad Sherman, assistant professor of communication at the university, and Beth Merry, lecturer in communication, will work alongside Trans World Radio, a Christian and broadcasting ministry in Bonaire, a small island located off the coast of Venezuela. The service mission team will provide manual labor and assistance with radio production work.


This is the first service learning mission trip sponsored by the Communication Department for majors including electronic media, interactive design, print journalism, public relations and sports information and broadcasting.


“I am very excited about using the skills that I have learned here at Waynesburg University during a Mission Trip,” said Steve Hullings, a senior communication major and the executive director of the University’s radio station, WCYJ-FM 99.5.


Students will work closely with the missionaries of TWR to help the mission produce promotional videos, radio spots and stock pictures for publicity. They also will help design literature, written materials and slideshows for the upcoming 50th anniversary celebration of the ministry of TWR on Bonaire. In addition, the students help to clear brush from beneath the antennas as well as some maintenance work for the mission.


“The Communication Department is very excited about this trip, which will provide an opportunity for our students to give much needed assistance to the mission on a variety of projects,” Merry said. “They will also get to see how broadcasting skills are needed in Christian mission work.”


Students participating in the mission service trip include Anastasia Barr, a junior from Avella; Kyle Edwards, a senior from Saegertown; Nicholas Farrell, a junior from Lower Burrell; Steven Hullings, a senior major from Pen Yan, N.Y.; Victoria Kramer, a sophomore from South Riding, Va.; James Little, a junior from Hickory; Gregory Maxwell, a junior from Latrobe; and Amanda Silay, a junior communication from Pittsburgh.


Hampton, Ga.

From Sunday to Jan. 12, 10 students, along with trip leader Aimee Spicuzza, a resident director at the university, will join Global Village, a simulation of what life is like for people living in developing countries, and Mission Work Camp in Hampton, Ga. The service mission team will make home repairs in the community and connections with those whom they will be serving.


Students participating in the mission trip include Olivia Bakke, a senior from Monaca; Theresa Butler, sophomore from Uniontown; Tiffany Franck, a junior major from Ephrata; Alexis Johnson, freshman from Pittsburgh; Brooke Kappert, a senior from McKees Rocks; Blake McCarty, a sophomore from Frisco, Texas; Cassandra McFarland, a junior from Fort Wayne, Ind.; Kaitlin Oliver, a junior from Cranberry; Danielle Tustin, senior from Burgettstown; and Karl Weber, a freshman from West Mifflin.


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