Campus Ministry Offers Global Immersions Experience

by The Cowl Editor on August 31, 2017


by Sarah Gianni ’18

News Staff

Photo courtesy of Megan Curley ’18.

Wondering if you can explore a new culture while serving others alongside Providence College students and staff? The students who joined Campus Ministry this summer as part of a global immersions trip will tell you the answer is yes. The Office of the Chaplain and Campus Ministry sponsors this opportunity every May, and all are welcome to apply.

Early this summer, participants traveled to Guatemala and Jamaica to volunteer with two respective organizations dedicated to strengthening their communities. Guatemala immersions participants worked with the Friends of San Lucas Organization, a group devoted to responding as Jesus did to the needs of the people. The students had the opportunity to work alongside the community, and meet other volunteers from all across the country.

“During my time in San Lucas I was able to help build the house and stoves for the community, as their homes are usually consisted of scrap metal and many of the people experience numerous lung and eye problems due to improper ventilation of smoke from their prior cooking methods,” said Paul Kelley ’20. “I have learned from this selfless culture to value life as it is given to you and be grateful for what you have.”

For those 11 students and two staff members selected to travel to Jamaica, the work was similar. Jamaica immersions participants volunteered with Mustard Seed Communities, a group dedicated to aiding communities in and around Kingston.

“This year the group traveled to Jacob’s Ladder, a Mustard Seed Community for adults with a variety of disabilities in Moneague, Jamaica,” said Morgan Starkey ’20. Given her past volunteering experience with the Montgomery Cheetahs, an ice hockey team for developmentally and physically disabled individuals, Starkey said she felt like the immersions trip would be right up her alley. “I have never felt so welcomed and accepted by a community of people I have never met,” she said.

During the week-long trip, the volunteers were able to make strong connections with residents of the Jacob’s Ladder Community. “It was so awesome to get to know the residents as people with special capabilities instead of as people with special needs who needed to be pitied,” said Starkey. “They taught me to love and accept everyone with a full and open heart, and to be honest and patient with each and every person I meet.”

Megan Yaeger ’19 also said she appreciated getting to bond with the residents on a deeper level. “One of my favorite memories was flying a kite with one of the residents, Michael,” she said. “Watching his face light up and hearing his laughter each time the kite flew upwards in the wind is a memory I will always treasure.”

As the fall semester begins, it is never too early to start thinking about applying for an immersions trip. Applications will be available for any interested students at the beginning of the spring semester.