RLC is taking two mission trips over fall break with one goal in mind: to help hurting communities off campus while building a stronger community of believers at Simpson College.
One group will be traveling to Cincinnati for a leadership conference while the other will be traveling to Kansas City, Missouri for some hands-on service work.
Junior Megan Berlin, chapel intern of mission projects, helped plan the upcoming fall break trips. She has gone on mission trips with RLC in the past, including trips to Alabama and on a Habitat for Humanity work trip.
“Mission trips have made me realize the change that needs to happen in the world and how I can be a part of that change, however small my service may seem,” Berlin said.
This passion for helping her community is shared by other Simpson students, including junior Katelyn Teachout. Teachout has gone on mission trips to Minnesota and to Alabama where she has learned that any amount of service can have a positive effect on a hurting community.
“Seeing people’s faces when you do the work is what it’s all about,” Teachout said.
This year, RLC’s theme is building the community of believers as the body of Christ. Through these mission trips, RLC hopes that participating students will get a stronger sense of what it means to be a part of the body of Christ as it applies to service work.
“Hopefully students return with a new or increased awareness of issues and needs within the larger community and students become motivated to continue to serve and find ways to help in their own communities,” Berlin said.
Both Berlin and Teachout said that mission trips are very important to RLC as a whole, to the surrounding community and to each individual student.
“I think (a mission trip is) important because it brings students together and helps build a community,” Teachout said.
Berlin also said mission trips outside of Iowa can give students a new perspective on what is happening beyond Iowa’s borders and how they as individuals can create change in their local community and on a national level.
Jeremy Poland, interim assistant campus chaplain, said students can benefit from going on these mission trips in several ways.
“I think it gives (students) the chance to make a difference in other parts of the country and in different parts of people’s lives,” Poland said. “It’ll also give them the opportunity to bond with another group of students that they may not have had the chance to do so otherwise, allowing them to build new friendships.”
On each of the fall break trips, participating students will be required to keep a service reflection journal. Berlin said that these journals will give students an outlet for reflecting their experiences on the mission trips and allow them to relate it to their lives at Simpson.
“Fall break trips are a great way to meet Simpson students, develop connections, get service hours, become aware of local and national issues and visit places you may never get to visit otherwise,” Berlin said.