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OWU Mission Trips Facilitate Connection Between Service and Learning

March 10, 2006

DELAWARE, OHIO — March 11-19 is Spring Break Mission Week at Ohio Wesleyan University, and several teams have departed on various trips to destinations throughout the nation and the world. Approximately 110 OWU students and 24 faculty and staff, 14 of whom are advisors to student teams, are participating in this spring's trips. Although spring break is just a week long, preparation for the trips is extensive including research and fundraising. This year's spring mission trips include:Hurricane Katrina Recovery—the team will spend time working with a local gulf agency doing recovery work.Women in Community: The Benedictine Experience—participants will spend the week helping the sisters with service projects, participating in the daily life of the monastery, and learning about the social justice initiatives of the sisters. Border Team—Students examine the dynamics that exist on both sides of the Mexico/U.S. border. Collegiate Challenge: Habitat for Humanity—team members join others across the nation who choose to spend their spring breaks "concretely" by serving through relationship and construction.Building and Rebuilding: Lakota Nation, South Dakota—participants seek to rebuild Lakota-Anglo relationships by helping to build a home, serving meals in the senior center, assisting with children, and meeting with spiritual elders at night. Sustainable Harvest International: Honduras—participants will work with local families to explore sustainable agriculture practices and how they contribute to the economic and environmental well-being of local communities. Two Communities of Faith: The Missionaries of Charity and Newman—students will travel to Rome, Italy to work with Mother Theresa's order of religious sisters in their men's homeless shelter, soup kitchen and food and clothing bank. Hurricane Katrina Recovery—a team of 10 faculty and staff members will assist with hurricane recovery on a Native American Reservation.

The spring break mission teams follow Ohio Wesleyan's mission of education for leadership and service. According to the OWU Chaplain's Office Web site, "Each project is carefully designed to facilitate growth in spirituality, servant leadership, intercultural understanding, social justice, and the academic connection between service and learning."