Beyond the Beach offers Spring Break Alternatives

BETHANY, OK (March 28, 2012) – This past week over Spring Break eighteen SNU students participated in one of the annual “Beyond the Beach” mission trips.  

Beyond the Beach Mission Trips aim to expose students to the rich variety of cultural experiences available in some the United States’s premiere cities while ministering to the homeless, impoverished, and marginalized caught within its systems.  This year the University sponsored two trips, San Francisco Urban Ministry and the Navajo Reservation in Luepp, Arizona.  

“Participating in a Beyond the Beach mission trip gave me the opportunity to help within a community, to get to know other SNU students, and to expand my perception and knowledge of the world”, said Junior Khortnie Neal, San Francisco participant.

San Francisco is home to some of the hippest areas in America and also a place of desperate economic and spiritual poverty.  The trip, lead by SNU Housing Director Michael Houston, allowed students to participate in ministries to the homeless, the hungry and the drug addicted.  Students focused their time in the "Tenderloin" district of San Francisco, which has an extremely high homeless population.  

“My favorite part of the trip was passing out hot chocolate on the streets to the homeless.  It was eye opening to see how a simple cup of hot chocolate can open the door to much deeper conversations,” stated Senior Chase Howard, San Francisco Participant.

While in Arizona, the University partnered with Bethany First Church of the Nazarene to do a mixture of traditional work-and-witness activities, equine ministry, and relational ministries with the Navajo people.  The students delivered food and supplies to support two local churches and their pastors on the Reservation.  They also hosted an outreach program at a gym on the Navajo Christian Fellowship with youth from Dilkon, AZ. 

“The students that went on the trip were tremendous.  They had great attitudes and gave all they could to serve the Dine' (Navajo people).  I wish our community could see the way our students helped out in Arizona.  It would give everybody a good feeling about the future of our church,” stated Paul McGrady, Navajo Trip sponsor and SNU Assistant Athletic Director.

Southern Nazarene University's mission is to transform lives through higher education in Christ-centered community. As a Christian community of scholars, we model the hospitality of grace, the pursuit of truth and the practice of discipleship, all within the Wesleyan-holiness tradition, as we prepare graduates who THINK with clarity, ACT with integrity and SERVE with purpose.