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Chowan students/staff to build ‘Village of Hope’

By Amanda Bradshaw Sharpe
University Relations

MURFREESBORO – Chowan University Campus Ministry will visit Johannesburg, South Africa on May 7-18 to serve with Door of Hope Ministries and build a home for abandoned children.  Fifteen Campus Ministry students will be accompanied by four staff members on this mission to build a village of hope.

The homes will be pod style houses for orphans who will reside there until they are 18 years old, with one volunteer parent.

A student at Chowan University displays onesie from decorating event.

The Campus Ministry students will stay onsite in a guest house during their mission. The trip serves a dual purpose to help Door of Hope build homes for children, and to help students see God’s world. It is not just about a mission trip, but a missionary life style.

“The trip will take the students out of their comfort zone so they can see God more clearly and learn to love everyone where they are, because we are all on the same journey,” said Mari Wiles, Minister to the Campus.

Encouraging intentional conversations with each other will be a large focus of the learning component of the trip.

The students have diligently prepared for this life altering experience through fundraising and making special gifts for the babies and children they will interact with. They hosted a Mission Match Fundraiser in March, where attendees made one bracelet to keep and one to donate to the children in Johannesburg. They sold water at Hawksfest. They also sold concessions at the Greek probate in April. Most recently, in order to involve the larger campus community, Campus Ministry invited the entire campus to design donated onsesies for the orphaned babies in South Africa. Students gathered in the Hawks Nest to support the cause.

On their mission, students will work all day (rain or shine), followed by reflection culminating in worship at night. Students will worship in local churches and may speak/minister at some churches as well. This will be the largest group Chowan has taken to the area with 19 people, many first-timers. Qeashaunda Johnson is the apprentice for this trip, also known as the student leader.

Christina Thomas, Chowan Alumna ‘16, and current Assistant Director of University Relations will be one of the staff attendees. This is her first mission trip with the University, however, she is no stranger to serving. She is the daughter of a pastor, and is heavily involved in her own church and community.

“I am excited to serve with Chowan.  I have always wanted to attend a mission trip. Now I get to do what I love, by documenting the journey through photos and videos, while sharing the story,” Thomas said.