Dordt College News

PLIA 2014

April 1, 2014

Colorado City, Arizona

A desert community, nearly surrounded by red mountains, the Colorado City team saw the beauty of God’s creation all around. The city is also home to a large group of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who practice polygamy. The team met and talked with members of the FLDS group, worked with a local missionary, did landscaping, helped with the construction of a thrift store.

Toronto, Canada

Working with Urban Promise, Dordt students were able to serve at a four-day camp for inner city kids. They also served with interns from several countries, including Germany, Scotland, and Australia. Hayley Dahl (Eden Prairie, Minnesota) says, “One of the biggest blessings for the trip was to see how God took young people from all over the world and used them to encourage another group of young people.”

Atlanta, Georgia

Most of the Atlanta group’s time was spent working on a farm. They shingled a roof, cleaned a swimming pool, painted bathrooms, and fed the farm animals. One of the highlights was serving food to the homeless in downtown Atlanta. Even though the experience was challenging, it was a time of growing for the students. VJ Hachaba (Coon Rapids, Minnesota) says, “Seeing how people did God’s work and trusted him fully for financial help strengthened my desire to help people more and show Christ’s love to everyone that I encounter.”

Argentine, Kansas

The Argentine PLIA team spent their time working with the Youthfront organization. They did yard work for a man with epilepsy. They also did painted bathrooms and organized a warehouse. Katie Heynen (Sheldon, Iowa) says, “The devotional time was exceptional! We had multiple prayer times and spiritual formation times led by Youthfront workers, which was the biggest impact of the trip by far.”

Neon, Kentucky

Julianna Leyendekker (Tulare, California) described Neon as “not only a very beautiful place to hike and explore, but it is ultimately a great place to serve others.” Students spent most of their time working with HOMES, an organization providing affordable housing for people in need. Dordt students helped make home repairs and demolished a rundown house to make room for the new house that the organization plans to build.

Chicago, Illinois

The Chicago team made repairs and worked with a youth group. Students grew to understand the dangers of the neighborhood when the young people told stories about local shootings. The Dordt students  were blessed by stories of how the youth ministry was helping turn people’s lives around.

New Orleans, Louisiana

In New Orleans, the team worked with Reach Global Crisis Response, an organization that seeks to build relationships with those affected by Hurricane Katrina in order to help rebuild the community and spread the love of Christ. They did construction work in homes, and they also went on prayer walks around neighborhoods affected by the hurricane.

Cary, Mississippi

Students who went to Cary, Mississippi, worked with the Cary Center, building a porch, painting houses, and doing various jobs at a thrift store. A highlight was sharing a big meal with people from the Cary Center at the end of their trip. Kayla De Bruin (Leighton, Iowa) says, “It was interesting to hear how God is working through the Cary Christian Center and in the people who work there to build a better community.” 

Mendenhall, Mississippi

Among other tasks, the Mendenhall team was responsible for co-leading a vacation Bible school. Leading worship, working with children, and providing technological support, each student was able to use his or her unique talent at the school. Allison Young (Elliot, Iowa) says, “God worked wonders in many lives during spring break 2014.”

Camden, New Jersey

Working with Urban Promise Ministries, the Camden team worked with children living in crime and poverty. “It was a blessing to serve the children of this city and see their optimism amidst adversity,” says Nathan Cassaro (Mesa, Arizona).

Shiprock, New Mexico

Dordt students served on the Navajo Reservation with Bethel Christian Reformed Church. Because the pastor is the only staff member at the church, the students’ help with maintenance work was greatly appreciated. “Pastor John was passionate about what he did, and you could definitely see his love for the Lord in everything that he did,” says Kayla Scholten (Inwood, Iowa). Students marveled at God’s creation when they visited the Grand Canyon at sunrise.

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