A presentation has students thinking of service trip


Morgan Kulzer
Broadcast News Producer

Briar Cliff allows students to go on several mission trips throughout the course of their education, but one speaker has made some students think about going now more than ever.

Patrick Atkinson recently visited BCU for the Sister Muriel Ford Lecture. His topic: Human trafficking. 

“He is not what I expected,” says Shaughn Head, junior. “I expected it to be eye opening, which it was, but I also expected it to be just something that I have heard before.” 

People know that there is a problem with human trafficking, but no one thinks it will happen to them, says Head. 

During Atkinson’s presentation, he mentioned the service trip to Guatemala that is offered during January-term this year. 

Heather Craig-Oldsen, chair of the social work department, says that ever since the presentation occurred, students have come up to her asking questions about the trip. 

“We try to make a difference with families who are poor,” says Craig-Oldsen, “give them a tiny bit of hope. It is not just about building houses, it is working with families.”

Craig-Oldsen uses the word “humbling” when describing mission trips.

“It is life-changing,” says Craig-Oldsen. “The service learning trips serve three purposes. One is so that we can know ourselves better, [the] second is to know God, [and] finally you get to know people you would not [have] had the chance to meet otherwise.”

Atkinson mentioned that one of the jobs in the service trip is simply holding and caring for kids who do not receive the proper nutrition. 

“There is literally a job description that is a holder or a hugger,” says Head. “They just hold these little babies who need warmth or just skin-to-skin contact and you just have to hold them and help them and maybe change them.”

Since the presentation, Head says he has been thinking about his mom and female friends and has become worried that they may one day be taken. 

“[The presentation] definitely made me more aware of what I should look out for or how I should approach the situation,” says Head. “I think he inspired a lot of people.”

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Submitted by kulzerm on Tue, 10/09/2012 - 17:40

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