Student Perspectives: Italy Mission Trip

Taylor Griffies is a sophomore pre-pharmacy major from Roanoke Rapids, N.C. She and a team of students and staff recently traveled to the Rome, Italy area to serve the Istituto Evangelico Biblico Italiano, a mission camp in the mountains of Italy. Check out what she has to say about her experience.

Why did you want to go on this particular mission trip?
This trip really interested me because it was my first opportunity to go on an international mission trip. I had previously been on three missions inside the U.S., and really wanted to expand outside of that territory. When this trip came along, it was too perfect! It was the perfect timing for me, the right opportunity, and not to mention it was a beautiful place that I have I always dreamed of going.

What were your expectations of the trip? I definitely expected to be challenged. It was my first trip on a plane and to a foreign country. I also expected to walk a lot, which we did. But as far as missions go, I really expected that I would fall in love with the camp at Isola del gran Sasso, and I did!

Did you have any hesitations or fears about the trip? I'm not sure that I was really scared of anything, I knew that I was in good hands and that everything was taken care of. I was just really excited about the whole experience, I didn't want negative emotions to get in the way of it!

What did you learn? How did you benefit from your time there? Italy is a very different place than America, and it took some time to get use to. The culture is so different that I was always careful to ask about certain things before I did them. The benefit from going to a different country is tremendous, and I think it is something that everyone should get to experience. You really learn how to interact with other people, and language isn't always that huge of a barrier.

What did you give to the people you met? How did they benefit from knowing you? I think we made our mark on Italy without a doubt. We made our way through several missions sites and lended a hand where it was needed most. At the camp, we made so many friends with the workers there that were our age, and on the last night we made sure that we left each of them with a Campbell t-shirt or hoodie to remember us by. We also became Facebook friends, and I still keep in touch with many of them. I think the mark we left on them is as valuable as the mark they left on us. I'll never forget them or the way I felt God move for us, and I know they won't either.

Do you have a favorite memory you would like to share? I don't have one favorite, that's impossible. But the best thing that I remember is how much we laughed. It didn't take long for a group of strangers to become a family, and families laugh and play together. Everyone had the moment when they were the center of attention and everyone was laughing and joking with them, and that is something that I'll always remember.

What kind of work did you do? We worked at three different sites while in Italy. At the Missionaries of Charity we washed windows, mopped, and then helped serve dinner to the residents. At the Salvation Army, we helped to clear out a room that they wanted to turn into a store for the people there. After the room was cleared we sanded the walls down and prepared it for paint. We also had a boys v. girls contest to see who could better assemble a shelving unit. Let's just say that Dr. English lost, and was not too happy about how crooked his turned out. At the camp in Isola we did a little of everything: landscaping, painting, washing, stonework.

Anything else you would like to add? Italy was beautiful, and one day I would love to go back. I'm just extremely thankful that God allowed us to go, to be so helpful and make a difference, and to let us travel safely and work for His glory. It was such an amazing experience, and I'll never forget any of it. 

A few more words from Taylor
My trip to Italy is something that will last forever. I can still see myself there, and I definitely wish that I was. But more importantly, I got to come back home and bring back everything I learned about the Italian culture and myself. One thing that has changed my life about this trip is that I left the U.S. with strangers, and returned with new friends and family. I knew only one person when I left, and that was something that was a little scary for me. I wasn't exactly friends with my team members, I barely knew their names. But now? They're my family. This mission team was assembled so well, something I have Ms. Terry Tucker to thank for. It was so amazing to come home with so many knew friends. It's hard to think that on a campus as small as Campbell's that most of us had never met, but it's true. Jumping out of your comfort zone and meeting knew people can never be a bad thing when it turns out as well as it did for me.

I'm so thankful that all of us meshed so well and were able to work together for Christ and to do His will. And now that we're back, and reality has set in, we have to go back to our normal lives as college students. But, we've all decided to stay together. We've made plans to have frequent dinners where we cook Italian food and all sit around one table and talk about our trip (and afterwards watch a Disney movie for Chris Wilson). A few of us girls are in the processes of looking for a book to follow for a Bible study that we've decided to create to keep us focused and connected while back at campus. I'm really excited that our little Italian family has decided to stay together now that we're not so Italian anymore. It's very encouraging to have a group behind you that is so wonderful and devoted to the same things that you are.
I think it's easy to say that going to Italy changed a lot of our lives. We've grown up a lot, seen a lot of knew things (that just happen to be very old), worked really hard, and bonded forever. Italy will always be a favorite memory of mine, and I hope that it never fades. But with the help of my new Italian family, I don't think that's possible. In Ecclesiastes 10:19 it says "A feast is made for laughter," and if there is anything it's the Italian's know how to do it's to feast and to laugh. And now, thanks to them, we know how too. Life is a beautiful gift, and I'll never take it for granted. It was an amazing trip that God took us on, and I'm forever grateful for it! Grazie!

Team member Emily Bratton shared a few of her photos with us. See them all on Facebook.


School's Out!

As you transition out of exam week and into summer life, keep in mind that down time doesn't have to be boring. Montana Campus Compact has a list of ways you can donate your time while savoring a few months without homework and tests.

A few highlights:

- Summer story hour at your local library
- Read a newspaper to an elderly person
- Clean a neighbor's yard

The smallest act can make the biggest difference. Also consider how summer volunteering might complement your major. It may lead to an internship or a job.

Happy Summer!

E-mail Sara Acosta with any questions surrounding volunteerism or service learning at Campbell.


Inasmuch Day Recap

On the morning of April 14 a familiar sight filled Academic Circle: professors holding project signs, bleary-eyed students bee-lining for the donut table, and a sea of matching t-shirts.

As the smell of Sherry’s donuts wafted through the brisk air, the fifth annual Inasmuch Day was about to begin.

Inasmuch volunteers gather on Academic Circle.
Photo by Sara Acosta
“But Inasmuch Day is not about us,” said Campus Minister Faithe Beam as she offered encouragement and motivation with opening remarks to the crowd of volunteers. “It’s about loving our neighbors and meeting their needs. Today is about giving ourselves to the community.”

Campus Ministry’s Terry Tucker, ministry associate and coordinator for serving and sending ministries, echoed that the goal for this year’s Inasmuch Day was two-fold, to expand impact and to communicate the importance of putting others first.

“We wanted to increase our project base as well as see a broader volunteer base regarding the number of faculty/staff versus students.  We saw this happen this year as we added five new projects and approximately 60 faculty/staff participate over the 25 from 2011,” she said.

“My hope was also that our volunteers would see the significance in serving others as Jesus calls us to in Matthew 25:40. To whatever area of service we are drawn, it involves the lives of others.”

Tucker added that the five new projects were Appleworks School, the Harnett Food Pantry, S.A.F.E. of Harnett County, Triton High School, and Kicking4Hunger.

Campbell students at Cape Fear Christian Academy.
Photo by Billy Peterson
While pictures tell a thousand words, the numbers for Inasmuch tell a story of their own. One of only two universities in the country participating as a campus body, Campbell’s Inasmuch Day engaged 450 volunteers in 30 projects that served approximately 23 thousand people. The day’s work and projects are valued at $10 thousand.

Campbell further expanded Inasmuch Day by incorporating it into Accepted Students Day, giving high school seniors seriously considering Campbell a glimpse into life as a student. The approximately 200 accepted students volunteered with Kids on the Run and Backpack Buddies, and made children’s busy bags for hospital emergency rooms, hygiene kits for Beacon Rescue Mission, and treat bags for Facilities Management.

Arc of Harnett County
Photo by Billy Peterson
An event of such magnitude doesn’t just happen. In January Tucker convened a team of 14 faculty, staff, and students to organize the day.

“The logistics include working with community partners to secure projects, enlisting projects leaders, online registration, assigning 450 volunteers to 30 projects, project leader training, media, service day check-in procedures to insure all teams are equipped to move out into the community, and much more."

"This was also our second year of working alongside Admissions to include the accepted students” she added.
Beam echoed that the day also wouldn’t be possible without stellar volunteers.

“I am so proud of our students, faculty, and staff who volunteer to wake up early on Saturday to share their time and resources with the community,” she said. “Days like this make me especially proud of Campbell.”

Junior biology pre-professional student Erica Hammond is one of those volunteers, one of many to host Arc of Harnett County’s developmentally disabled children and their families at the Irwin Belk Track for an afternoon of inflatables and snow cones.

Project Leader Melissa Psaltis
Photo by Courtney McGowan
“I chose the Arc project because it’s a great way to give back to the community and to interact with special needs kids to help them feel accepted and special,” she said. “They are just such optimistic kids and a joy to be around.”

Arc project leader Melissa Psaltis, a student in School of Counseling, said that the fun and games go beyond entertaining the kids.

“It means as much to the parents as it does to the kids. Seeing their kids smiling and happy means a lot to them,” she said. “And we wouldn’t be able to do this without all the volunteers.”

While the volunteers sign up with a motivation to bring joy to others, project leader at Beacon Rescue Mission and physician assistant student Jessica Robbins found that what goes around comes around on Inasmuch Day.

“When we went to pay for lunch after finishing the project, our waitress came up and told us that ‘good deeds do not go unnoticed’ and that a couple had seen our shirts and paid for our group’s lunch and left before we could thank them or see who they were.  It is so touching to know that people recognize what we are doing and appreciate it,” she said.

Arc of Harnett County
Photo by Courtney McGowan
MBA student Rebekah Barker led one of this year’s new projects, a partnership with local non-profit organization Kicking4Hunger, whose mission is to run free soccer clinics in exchange for food donations that go back to the local food bank.

“It was so rewarding to put on this Kicking4Hunger camp in conjunction with Inasmuch. We ended up raising 127 pounds of food. Gabe Whaley, founder of Kicking4Hunger, mentioned that the food we raised was enough to feed five families of four for an entire week—it was more than we could have ever asked for,” said Barker.

Campus Ministry Graduate Assistant and divinity student Tyler Ward summed up the Inasmuch experience.

“Inasmuch allows us the chance to serve with the greater community. It’s a great opportunity for the campus community and our neighbors to serve together,” he said.

By Sara Acosta, AmeriCorps VISTA with reporting by student Courtney McGowan


Click here to view the complete photo album on Facebook.

For more information on Inasmuch at Campbell, e-mail Terry Tucker.


Photo Essay: Human Trafficking Exhibit

Like Spring Fling, the Human Trafficking Exhibit on March 26 is another event so interactive and impacting that words cannot do justice.

The Exhibit was the work of students John Mark McGee, Lindsay Frye, and Jordan Zepher. They returned from the PASSION 2012 conference burdened to share the tragedy of human trafficking with the Campbell community. The event featured a series of interactive stations, statistics, and fictional stories about human trafficking. 

Human trafficking by the numbers
27,000,000 million people are slaves today.
The slave industry is a $32 billion business.
1 person is all it takes to make a difference.

 Coffee, cocoa, rice, and cotton are examples of goods likely produced by 
forced labor that is sourced by human trafficking.

Lindsay: "I want people to know that slavery still exists."

Jordan: "College students can do so much, more than we realize. 
By being aware we're already heading in the right direction." 

Left to right: Jordan, John Mark, Lindsay holding the cross
with students' sticky note prayers attached. 

John Mark: "I was shocked when I first heard about this monstrosity because of the injustice." 

Lindsay: "We spent a lot of time, planning, and praying for this event. 
If one person's heart was moved like ours was, it was worth it."

Approximately 200 students attended the exhibit.

Jordan: "My heart was broken by the injustice, and all it took was for me to open my eyes." 

John Mark: "I would love for our campus to be knowledgeable of the facts and for 
them to feel the need to raise awareness." 

Lindsay: "The purpose of the exhibit was to make the issue real for the students. 
We wanted them to see it, not just hear someone tell them about it."

Jordan: "We wanted to inform the community with what human trafficking 
is and how they can combat it, either with prayer, letter writing to the 
government, telling their friends, or looking for signs of abuse."

Thirty-six students wrote letters to Congress at the exhibit.

Human Trafficking Resources

Polaris Project  For a world without slavery

International Justice Mission To rescue thousands, protect millions and prove that justice for the poor is possible

MATTOO Men against the trafficking of others 

InvisibleChildren Do more than just watch. 


To view the complete Facebook photo album click here.

For more information on social justice awareness at Campbell contact Sara Acosta.


Campus Ministry & BSCNC Spring Fling

"Can you paint a hamburger on my face?"

"Do you want to wear a clown nose?"

"Would you like a picture with Gaylord?"

Things said only at Spring Fling, the annual day camp event for special needs adults. Spring Fling is a 20+ year old tradition and partnership between Campus Ministry and the Baptist State Convention. Because words can't fully describe the joy of the day, here is a series of pictures that will. 

Spring Fling by the numbers:
180 happy campers
100 enthusiastic volunteers
1 freezer full of Sunny Ski's ice cream
1 awesome women's basketball team
1 awesome cheerleading team

Misty was ecstatic to get a photo with a cheerleader.

 The women's basketball team were celebrities.

Tommy was rocking his great "I am somebody" shirt.

Everyone wanted a photo with Gaylord!

The rubber duck team is ready to go.

Who doesn't love a balloon/paper butterfly hat?!

 Debbie asked for a rainbow to be painted on her hand.

Everyone is a clown at Spring Fling.

John and John Mark worked on a thank-you banner.

Volunteers at the balloon pop station.

To see the complete photo album click here.

For more information about Spring Fling e-mail Tyler Ward.


White House Honors

Campbell is proud to announce its fifth consecutive acceptance to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll!

According to the Corporation for national and Community Service website linked above, "The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, launched in 2006, annually highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes in the communities they serve."

The Honor Roll website also reported these stats compiled from applicant institutions across the country.

The application covers areas of service such as project sustainability, community impact, and student engagement. Among others Campbell highlighted its partnership with Baptist Fellowship of Angier, the 2011 MLK Day of Service, and the Pharmacy School's service learning initiative.

Congratulations to the students, faculty, and staff in Buies Creek for this great honor. Your work made the award possible!

To learn more about the Corporation for National and Community Service, watch a couple clips from this video.


Read the full list of Honor Roll honorees here.


Upcoming Events

With Spring Break long gone and warm weather here to stay, spring time at Campbell also means a busy few weeks before the semester ends.

Between your classes, clubs, and social life, it can be tough to keep up with other activities. Here's an unofficial guide to the rest of the semester's activities related to service. To add an event please e-mail Sara Acosta.

March 24: Campus Ministry Spring Fling, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Convocation Center
Spend the morning playing, singing, eating, and dancing with developmentally disabled adults.
Contact: Tyler Ward

March 26: Peace Corps Info Session, 6 p.m., Maddox 130
The Peace Corps is an international service organization that seeks to build the capacity of people around the world. 
Contact: Campbell Department of Public Health

March 26: Human Trafficking Exhibit, 4 - 6 p.m., Turner Auditorium
Walk through various re-created scenes of human trafficking and learn more about the global problem that takes place close to home.
Contact: Sara Acosta

March 28: Letter Writing for Human Trafficking, 12:30 - 4 p.m. in front of D. Rich
Write letters to your state and federal representatives to raise awareness of and/or to ask for policy changes regarding human trafficking.
Contact: Sara Acosta

March 29: Human Trafficking Discussion, 6 p.m., Turner Auditorium 
A panel of experts will discuss various perspectives of human trafficking and how you can help.
Contact: Sara Acosta

April 14: Inasmuch Day, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. in the local commjunity
Campbell's fifth annual Inasmuch Day places Campbell students, faculty, and staff in the community for a day of ministry and service to our neighbors. To sign up click here.
Contact: Terry Tucker