Lock Haven students trade spring break for community service

Sixteen Lock Haven University students in Christian Student Fellowship (CSF) traveled to Howell’s Mill Christian Assembly in West Virginia for a week in early March during their spring break from classes.

Throughout the week, students had various activities, the first being at the Sixth Avenue Church of Christ. The congregation is mostly elderly individuals, with the youngest member being 65 years old. Students cleaned rooms, carried trash and other items from upper floors to the curb for pickup, sorted through rooms and organized and performed various other tasks.

Despite having such a small congregation (only eight in attendance the week students were visiting), the church is very actively involved in meeting the needs of people in the community, including providing a food pantry twice a week, hosting an AA group daily and offering a support group that meets twice a month for individuals who have lost children for whatever reason.

“I found it to be such an inspirational testimony to see that even through this church is smaller and older than many, they are still living out the mission of the Kingdom of God here on earth in whatever way(s) that they can,” said Patrick Willis, CSF campus minister.

For their next assignment, the group was broken into three groups. One worked at a food bank where students spent the day sorting and boxing foods for the local food pantries and other organizations. A second group of students was busing working at Howell’s Mill Christian Assembly, helping clean the campground from the winter storm that had hit the area a few days before the group arrived. Working with the local Boys and Girls Club was the third group’s assignment and, for the second year in a row, it was some of the students’ absolute favorite opportunity to serve.

The Harmony House, a multipurpose day shelter, also benefited from LHU’s student’s visit. Here, students cleaned the shelter facilities, mingled with residents, and even made cookies for the residents.

“It was a great opportunity for these students to minister with love and grace to those who have found themselves in a less than perfect situation,” Willis said.

Another group served at the Ronald McDonald House, helping staff clean the facility and prepare meals for individuals staying there. And last, but certainly not least, a group traveled to Huntington City Mission where they spent an entire day painting a new apartment that had been constructed for a homeless individual, in an effort to provide a means to get off the streets.