The C.U. Wesley Fellowship strives to offer our students a truly Alternative way to spend their annual Spring Breaks - we roll up our sleeves and participate in mission and work trips!
Our pattern is to alternate between national and international locations. For Spring Break 2006 we journeyed to the Mississippi Coast to repair buildings damaged by Hurricane Katrina. In 2007 we built adobe homes and did construction work at an orphanage in Guatemala. Read on to learn what we did! (scroll down to learn about Ecuador in 2009!)
Here's what we did in 2011!!
C.U. Wesley Student Spring Break Work Trip (2011 - San Jose, Costa Rica)
We were originally planning on going to Haiti this year, but it was decided that there was too much political instability at this time. So, we quickly came up with a more than satisfactory “Plan B” – working to improve student and family housing at the Biblical University of Latin America! Seven of us from our Wesley Fellowship participated this year. We painted the exterior of 3 homes plus the security gate to the premises. It wasn’t the hardest physical work we’ve ever done, but it was one of the more educationally rich and spiritually powerful trips we’ve taken in recent history.
The “U.B.L.” was founded in 1923. It is an ecumenical seminary that has strong Methodist roots and maintains strong connections with the U.M.C. It is a hotbed of liberation theology and they now have 14 satellite campuses across South and Central America. We heard several powerful presentations in the evenings about how their students and faculty are engaged in deeply meaningful and important ministries ranging from helping churches reduce stigma around HIV infected persons so they can minister to them to helping minister to the many kidnapped youth who have been thrown into the sex trafficking industry.
Our humble work of painting dwellings for the families of the students to live in helps toward improving the morale and sense of global Christian connection and support for them. We were blessed to make a small difference toward God’s kingdom work through our modest efforts. Indeed, in many ways, we were the ones being ministered to and “evangelized.” Several students reported having their faith greatly transformed and deepened because of this work-trip experience.
Even though it was “just painting” that we did, it was hard work, requiring a lot of scraping and prep work as well as working with some rather unusual paints. We worked well as a team and are proud of how much we accomplished in our four workdays.
Two other student groups were there at U.B.L. at the same time that we were (both from West Virginia) and it was an extra joy to share much of our experience with them -- including our one sightseeing day where we saw the world’s widest active volcano, a sulfur lake, a sugar cane plantation, several churches, and a lot of artisans! Many new friendships were formed with these young people from West Virginia! The entire group was moved to learn that Doña Emma, the El Salvadoran refugee who cooked with love for us that week, hadn’t been back to visit her family since she and her boys fled there years ago. We pitched in and raised enough money to buy her a bus ticket so she could visit them. She was such a blessing to us and we couldn’t help but give back. Love abounded.
We would like to say THANK YOU to the good people of the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference of the UMC and to all of you who support our lively campus ministry for helping make ministries such as these transforming Spring Break Work Trips possible!
Next year: Haiti.
Please prayerfully consider DONATING to our vital and
growing campus & young adult ministry!
Rev. Roger Wolsey Director/Pastor - Wesley Foundation- CU Boulder
1290 Folsom St. Boulder, CO 80302 - www.wesleyf.org
Wesley Foundation Spring Break 2007
Students Put Faith into Action!
Wesley Students Take Alternative Spring Break Making a Difference in Guatemala!
The Wesley Foundation Campus Ministry at C.U. has a long history of offering Alternative Spring Break Mission Trip experiences and 2007 was no exception! Students from Wesley joined forces with 30 people from St. Lukes UMC in Highlands Ranch, CO to participate in a powerful 10 day experience in Lemoa, Guatemala.
We left on Friday, March 23 and returned on Sunday, April 1, and combined, our team of 38 people sought to spread goodwill and practical assistance to this impoverished part of the world. We spent our time in the "Appalachian" part of that country; i.e. in the rural mountains where the poverty and neediness run deepest - and where the folks primarily speak Queche instead of Spanish. We helped build adobe homes for 2 "war widows" (women who lost their husbands and sons during the 30 year civil war which wrecked havoc on that nation); built chicken coops to help start a new micro-loan, self-help program; installed a concrete ceiling at a church facility; and stuccoed a new classroom at an orphanage.
We also delivered many pounds worth of materials (toys, school supplies, wheelchairs, etc.) and spent many hours playing with and loving over 500 of the local children. We saw a lot - everything from scabies and small pox to incredible hospitality and stunning industriousness and the amazing potential for human beauty, grace, and dignity in the face of hardship.
This experience was very educational. We learned about a new culture, a new language, about life in a developing country, about the history and socio-political realities which led to the challenging state of affairs in that area, as well as how God has been at work changing things for the better.
Several of our students stepped up to serve as translators during this trip. They were pleasantly surprised to discover that their Spanish skills were sufficient to be effective. This was very affirming and empowering for them!
Our students had lots of fun, learned much, and really felt like they made a difference in a community that matters. We helped the people of the village of Lemoa know that they are remembered and loved by friends in America.
We at Wesley would like to say thank you the people of St. Lukes UMC who graciously allowed us to team up with them as well as to BUMMP (Boulder United Methodist Mission Partners) who contributed money toward the building expenses. We also wish to thank the Rocky Mtn. Conference and all of the individuals and local congregations who support our campus ministry to help make these transformative Spring Break Work Trips possible!