(November 6, 2012)

Students spend fall break repairing hurricane-damaged homes

SHREVEPORT, LA — The Chaplain's Office and Christian Leadership Center (CLC) sponsored an alternative break mission opportunity over Fall Break for twenty-two students, staff, and alumni, including four international exchange students. The group teamed up with the Epworth Project to work on homes that had been flooded during Hurricane Isaac.

students repairing insulation in house

"People throughout the area expressed great appreciation for the group's willingness to spend fall break doing recovery work," said Reverend Betsy Eaves, Director of UMC Relations and Chaplain. "The state of Louisiana values each volunteer hour at $15 per hour. With that measure, the team provided over $6,000 of labor into helping our neighbors in south Louisiana."

The group was divided into two teams, replacing insulation and sheetrock. Each night, the group enjoyed homemade meals prepared by a Centenary family. On the last night, the group joined current student Mariah Pitre's family, where they visited an alligator farm; watched cracklings fry; and ate homemade gumbo, fried frog legs, and fried alligator patties.

The decision to skip fall break to take part in the mission trip was an easy one for junior Biology and Religious Studies major Amanda Price.

"Mission and outreach work have always been very important to me," said Price. "I am from the Slidell area and helped coordinate this trip with Reverend Eaves. My home was not flooded during Hurricane Katrina or, more recently, Hurricane Isaac, but many who are close to me experienced devastation."

Price has worked as the Program Director for the Epworth Project for the past two summers, helping to bring in over 1,000 volunteers from across the country to work on disaster recovery. She has been on a number of Centenary mission trips to the Navajo Nation, the Choctaw Reservation, and Tennessee. For Price, this particular trip created one very special memory.

"We were able to meet the owners of the home we worked on. They were an elderly couple that did not have the resources to rebuild their home after flooding. The two of them could not have been more appreciative, and they shared their stories of faith with us. Life is definitely not about the material things you own, but about love and those you surround yourself with."

The CLC and Chaplain's Office have been promoting local, regional, and international mission trips since 2005. For more information, visit Centenary's upcoming mission opportunities online.