Northwestern College students to serve over spring break

Northwestern College will send 11 teams of students led by faculty and staff advisers on service trips to eight states, Puerto Rico and Mexico during spring break.

More than 170 participants will travel for this year’s annual Spring Service Partnerships, scheduled for March 5–14.

A new partner is Mazatlán Missions in Puerto Rico. Working with that ministry, students will help rebuild roofs of homes damaged by Hurricane Maria in 2017. Another SSP team will travel to Croc, Mexico, to serve alongside local leadership, working with youth in an after-school program or through vacation Bible school or camp-like activities.

Teams in the continental U.S. are partnering with ministries in locations ranging from the West to East Coast and from Minnesota to Texas.

In California, Northwestern students will join with Emmanuel Reformed Church in Paramount to paint homes, provide manual labor and build relationships in the community of Compton. Other teams with a focus on urban ministry will head to Denver, Colorado, and Kansas City, Kansas. The Denver team will work with Mile High Ministries, serving people who are homeless and socially marginalized, while the students in Kansas City will partner with Youthfront and a Hispanic congregation to support after-school programs, a neighborhood farm and preparations for a summer camp.

Two SSP teams will serve in and learn about Native American communities. Those going to the Grand Portage Indian Reservation in Minnesota will help with a food pantry and spend time with a local church youth group. They’ll also do work at a wilderness camp operated by the Coldwater Foundation, a faith and leadership development organization. Another team will travel to the Mescalero Apache Reservation in New Mexico, where they will do manual labor and participate in the youth and children’s programs of Mescalero Reformed Church.

In Texas, Northwestern students will serve with a ministry to ex-prisoners. Another two SSP teams are heading to Louisiana. One, composed of football players, will staff after-school programs, youth sports camps and construction projects in New Orleans; the other will do construction, tutoring and community cleanup in Opelousas.

The final SSP team will work with World Renew, the development, disaster response and justice arm of the Christian Reformed Church, which is sending the Northwestern students to Charleston, West Virginia, to help with flood relief efforts.

SSP team members raise their own travel funds through their individual families, friends and churches, and through fundraisers on campus and in the community.

Northwestern College’s short-term mission programs bear the Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Mission seal, ensuring that participating organizations get teams that are of high quality. SOE standards include adequate pre-trip training and resources, as well as consistent post-trip follow-up and accountability.