While most students head south for spring break to get away from schoolwork and be in the warm weather; a group of Franklin College students will be headed west, to Joplin, Missouri to make a difference.
David Weatherspoon, the FC’s Campus Minister, plans a Religious Life mission trip every year for spring break.
This year he worked with the American Baptist Home Mission Societies to put together the trip.
A lot of thought goes into deciding where help is needed the most and he decided upon Joplin because there was so much work to be done there to rebuild homes after a tornado devastated the area back in May 2011.
The Religious Life team will be spending their time within the community working to rebuild homes that were destroyed by the tornado; a majority of the work will be construction.
For seniors Laura Burpo and Cory O’Brien going on these mission trips give them a feeling of satisfaction.
“I have always been into mission work and helping others,” Burpo said. “This past summer I went with the FC Religious Life on a mission trip to New Orleans, and it was an amazing experience. We were able to rebuild homes for people who had been displaced by Hurricane Katrina, and spent time hearing their stories; I am really looking forward to going to Joplin.”
O’Brien said that you do not necessarily have to believe in God to do mission work, and that sometimes it can be a misconception, but believes that it definitely helps.
“I think wanting to go on a mission trip says many things and makes you feel many things, it says you are unselfish,” O’Brien said.
Franklin College students are able to work with their hands to immediately affect a community surrounding them as well as learn from talking to people and looking at their struggles.
Students like O’Brien and Burpo are able to give back on these mission trips, but more importantly they are able learn about themselves on these trips, Burpo said, “I realize the importance of helping struggling communities get back on their feet.”