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A spirit that is not afraid

Spring Break allows students to share the Gospel

<p>Students gather to share the Gospel with others over spring break.&nbsp;</p>

Students gather to share the Gospel with others over spring break. 

Many Auburn students embarked on different excursions for their 2022 spring break and some chose to go on mission trips to Costa Rica.

Onward is a campus ministry that focuses on sharing the Christian Gospel and building relationships between members. The group takes annual spring break trips to the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica. 

“I was blessed to go to San Jose, Costa Rica, with the campus ministry Onward,” Macey Lundstrom said, a junior in speech, language, and hearing sciences

Lundstrom began her involvement with Onward her freshman year and was planning on taking the same trip two years ago, but it was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, the Onward team has been preparing for the trip for nearly two years now.

“The team we partnered with has been preparing for us all this time so it was really awesome to get to experience something that has been in the works for so long,” Lundstrom said.

This Costa Rica trip was sponsored by Filter of Hope, a ministry that provides water filters to families living in poverty. 

“Our group of 70 divided into groups of seven people, and we set out each day entering a home, getting to know the family, and sharing our personal testimonies [and] details about our walk with Jesus,” Lundstrom said.

Each group member had a different role with different duties. The duties included asking the family questions about their everyday routine, installing and explaining the new water filter, sharing the gospel, sharing testimonies, logging data and praying. 

Lundstrom explained the water filter represented Jesus cleansing us from our sin. 

“We explained how often we may falsely believe that doing good works earns salvation. However, this is like trying to add clean cups of water into a dirty bucket. The water is not getting any more clean. It is only through the filter, or through our faith in Jesus, that we can earn salvation."

She also mentioned the gift of salvation is available to those who believe in Jesus. 

"We also explained that just as we are giving them a water filter as a free gift, Jesus offers salvation as a free gift to all who believe in Him."

Members said there were many memorable moments on the trip, but one, in particular, stood out to Lundstrom.

“One of my favorite parts of the trip was getting to debrief at the end of every day and hear about how the Spirit was moving in other groups as well throughout the day,” she said.

Lundstrom said on the first day she entered a woman’s home who was a Christian. The woman asked for prayer for her son who had turned to drugs and was living on the streets. A few days later during the debrief, a fellow participant of the trip shared how the woman had a praise report saying her son came home and rejoined the church.

Abigail Gaston, sophomore in pre-veterinary studies, went on the same trip but with her church, Christ Presbyterian.

“What struck me most about the people of Costa Rica was their generosity,” Gaston said. “I saw these people who had nothing offering me whatever they could."

Rebekah Harrison, junior in computer science, also went to Costa Rica with Onward. She explained her interpretation of the water filter.

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“Water is unable to make itself clean, and so are we as sinful humanity,” Harrison said. “Jesus Christ offers himself as an intermediary and sacrifice for our sins, and through our faith in him we are made clean. The filter represents Jesus’s sacrifice on our behalf and the clean water represents our now possible unity with a holy God.”

According to Harrison, the group visited four families per day, allowing them to spend about an hour with each family. 

“Within an hour, we would get to know a family, describe how to install and operate a water filter system and share a Gospel that took thousands of years and pages for the Holy Spirit to inspire,” Harrison said.

She said she trusted in God's power and timing to transform the lives of people living in Costa Rica.

“The Lord is continuing to walk beside the members of that community every single day, even as I am back in Auburn writing this excerpt instead of paying attention in my statistics class, and He’s with me too,” Harrison said.

She continues to explain her longing for eternity and unity with God and others. 

“I guess before this trip I’d never related to the words of John in response to Jesus’ claims that He is returning soon. But now I see," Harrison said.

Becca Benner | Culture Writer

Becca Benner, junior in public relations with a double minor in Spanish and marketing, is a culture writer at The Auburn Plainsman. 

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