By Daleen Cowgar
This year for spring break, there are several fun trips planned for students. One of those is the Arizona-Mexico Service Learning Trip. Anne Schrock, Melody Scott, and Melody Rodriguez will be leading a group of students to the border between Mexico and Arizona.
“Our motivation behind the trip is mostly about narratives,” said Schrock. “We recognize that what is happening on and around the U.S. Mexico border seems quite far away from us here in Canton, Ohio.”
However, it is not. Over summer break, there was an Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid at several factories in the Canton area, arresting more than 100 people.
“It’s really important to notice who we’re getting our information from, and this is a chance to get it right from the place it is happening,” said Schrock. “We can’t wait to create space for our students to see what all these ‘issues on TV’ turn out to be face to face.”
The service learning trip is dedicated to gathering information from each side of the immigration conversation. While at the border, the students will meet with churches in both Mexico and the U.S. to see what ministries the churches are performing and what advocacy looks like for them. Students will visit homeless shelters, afterschool programs, and even officers working in a detention center.
“We’ll even get to do a short pilgrimage from the Mexico side to the wall to see what the journey for many immigrants is like,” said Schrock. “[This will be a] place where people can wrestle with things they have never learned before in an environment where they can feel safe to ask questions, be wrong, and learn boldly.”
The other spring break trip is to Guatemala, led by Kriss Bliss and Bri Moody. Junior and Senior nursing students will travel to Guatemala to work in a local hospital. They will also visit Tikal, the largest site of Mayan ruins. There was also supposed to be a third trip to Kentucky. This trip would visit Hope Hill, which Malone’s website explains is “a residential program for young women who are in need of life change and support for a variety of reasons.” Unfortunately, however, that trip was canceled.
But service learning trips are not the only fun thing planned for this year’s spring break! Chorale and the Chamber Choir are teaming up for a tour through Ohio under the direction of Dr. Jon Peterson. The trip starts at the Westbrook Park United Methodist Church, travels to Ohio Star Theater in Sugarcreek, then to Roscoe United Methodist Church in Coshocton, before wrapping the tour up with a performance at Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church in Zanesville. The spring program, entitled “Our God is Great”, is a collection of music about God’s sovereignty and goodness. The Malone University announcement explains that there will be “a wide variety of a cappella classics, as well as hymn arrangements and spirituals.” Hannah Robinson, a junior music major and member of Chorale, added that the Chamber Choir will “sing a few vocal jazz standards, along with some sacred arrangements.”
Robinson is excited about “sharing the gift of music with those who have never heard us before, and even those who have.” Plus, she says, “Tour is also a great bonding experience for the Chorale and Chamber Choir and I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone better during the couple of days we’ll be on the road.”
No matter where Malone University students go for spring break, they know how to have fun, but also, how to put Christ’s Kingdom First.