FMU’s Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) took 13 students to Orlando, Fla., for a mission trip during Spring Break.
There 13 girls who attended the Orlando trip. The spots were available to all students and were first come, first serve. The 13 students who attended the trip are active in BCM, and two of the girls are the BCM leadership team. Even though it turned out to be an all-girl trip, there was diversity among the group because they came from different backgrounds and have different fields of study.
“It was interesting to see people that would not normally hang around each other interact with one another,” BCM president Nisheeka Simmons said.
Students volunteered at the Orlando Union Rescue Mission Women and Children Division which is a homeless shelter for women and children. The Orlando Union Rescue Mission provides transitional housing to homeless women, children and families until they are able to get back on their feet.
According to Simmons, volunteering with the Orlando Union Rescue Mission was an enlightening experience.
“It was eye-opening for a lot of the girls on the trip because these were children that had nothing except what little the shelter and their mother gave them,” Simmons said.
For senior Katie Lewis, the trip gave her a new perspective on life.
“As a student and as a person, it made me grateful for what I had as we worked with some children at a rescue place who didn’t have homes,” Lewis said. “It really put me in perspective as my problems were not as big, such as college, as those children’s problem were.”
Each night, the BCM volunteers led a short bible study with the children at the homeless shelter. During the bible study, the children shared prayer requests. “All the kids prayed for nothing selfish during the prayer requests, which was really touching,” Simmons said.
In addition to volunteering at the homeless shelter, the BCM missionaries worked with an organization called Give Kids the World Village. Give Kids the World Village is a non-profit organization that gives terminally ill children and their families a free, week long vacation called a wish. “
It was really cool because you could see how the parents were adapting to dealing with their kid’s illnesses,” Simmons said. “We made sure they had enough hands carrying extra trays and stuff like that.”
Interacting with the children in the organization’s theme park made for handicapped was a special experience for Lewis.
“My favorite part was working in the castle, which is where the children that have the terminal illnesses go to make their wishes,” Lewis said. “All of the children were so sweet and grateful to be there. Seeing those children smile was the best part of the trip.”
BCM meets every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. for dinner and worship.