Spring break takes on new meaning

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 11, 2006

During a time when the term “Spring Break” conjures images of parties at beaches in Florida or the Caribbean, a team of students from Chowan College chose to use their days off helping people.

A group of 10, including seven students, Chowan College’s campus minister, a member of the college’s library staff, and the Director of Missions of West Chowan Baptist Association flew to Gulfport, Mississippi to work on houses devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Campus minister Ken Cooke, Director of Missions John S. Pond, Chowan staff member Mitzi White, and students Karhl Grubb, Wynne Hughes, Jonathan Hodge, Andrew Jenkins, Mary Eubanks, Stephanie Montague, and Sabrina Wright joined approximately 650 other students from across our nation to rebuild homes in the Gulfport area.

Pass Road Baptist Church in Gulfport housed women volunteer workers and has allowed North Carolina Baptist Men to set up disaster recovery operations on church property. The Mississippi National Guard Armory has also allowed the Baptist men to use their facilities for recovery efforts. The men volunteers were housed in the Armory.

From March 11-17, the team worked on a house belonging to an elderly couple “adopted” by West Chowan Baptist Association. The volunteers removed broken fencing and other debris from the yard, sprayed the house with Clorox to kill mold, put insulation on the outside and interior walls, and unloaded a house load of furniture donated to the couple. On two of the days, the team did minor repairs on other houses in the area.

Each evening all of the students and leaders came together to worship, with Ken Cooke leading the service on the nights.

Although much has been accomplished in the six months since Katrina, there is still so much to be done. North Carolina Baptist Men have dedicated themselves for the next two years to helping the people of Gulfport rebuild their homes and their lives.

For the students of Chowan College, the other students who worked in Gulfport, as well as the recipients of their help, this “Spring Break” is one which will never be forgotten.