(March 19, 2014)

Students use spring break to serve others, travel to Bahamas

SHREVEPORT, LA — A team of 19 Centenary students and staff traveled to the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas for an alternative spring break mission trip, March 2-8.

Spring Break
"What does it mean that God brings light to the dark places?" The Centenary College Missions Team explores this question in the Hatchet Bay Caves in Eleuthera with BMH.

"I wholeheartedly believe this was a transformational experience for each of us," said Nicole Rapagnani, Assistant Director for Intercultural Engagement. "The team had amazing attitudes throughout the week. The team was ready to serve, allowed themselves to be stretched, and looked for how to be grateful and encouraging regardless of the circumstances. Being surrounded by the radical hospitality of the Bahamians, we also learned how much relationships and living in the present are more important than simply completing tasks, and to not take people or things for granted."

Along with Rapagnani, Maegan Daigle, Assistant Director of Christian Leadership, and Adam Walsh, Men's Basketball Head Coach, provided leadership to students during the week.

The team went to Camp Symonette in James' Cistern, partnering with the Bahamas Methodist Habitat (BMH). BMH is the disaster management and emergency home repair outreach ministry of the Bahamas Conference of the Methodist Church. Volunteers serve together to repair and build homes for low-income families in the Bahamas. The Centenary team worked on three sites, which included cutting and laying bathroom tile, working on walls, and hanging ceiling panels.

Senior Mariah Pitre, one of the 15 students on the mission, felt her spring break was a formative one.

"It was amazing to serve the community of Eleuthera —one of extreme poverty with a million dollar view," said Pitre. "It was SO much more than I ever could have imagined! This week confirmed the call of God on my life like never before."

Other student participants included Lindsey Bruce, Mara Cumberland, Ryan Gasporra, Elizabeth Guerrant, Lea Hair, E'Lise Hall, Deavonte' Hicks, Jessica Innes, Tendresse Kapalang-A-Sul, Chelsea Petska, Mariah Pitre, Julia Puac-Romero, Derek Rainwater, Cheredith Rhone, Cassandra Warden, and Heather Wilson.

Missions are sponsored in collaboration with the Chaplain, the Office of Professional Discernment, and the Office of Global Engagement. For more information about upcoming mission trips, contact the Christian Leadership Center at 318.869.5280.