Students share their spring break stories

Check out these stories of how students spent their spring break.

Building a church in Mexico

by Amy Nordberg, junior Media and Communication major


I had the humbling opportunity to spend my spring break across the border, building a church expansion for Iglesia Del Nazareno in Tijuana, México. Myself and 40 or so other PLNU students earned some calluses on our hands and dirt under our fingernails while we were able to construct a 40 foot by 80 foot “multipurpose room” complete with bathrooms. The days were very long — we worked from right after breakfast (around 8:30 a.m.) until just before dinner (usually around 6:30 p.m.).

However, we were so blessed to have been fueled by some of the best Mexican food we’ve ever had. Some members of the church worked alongside us, including the pastor of last year’s church build, Alejandro. I had the chance to meet some pretty wonderful people who were very accepting of my horribly broken Spanish.

By participating in the build, I also got to learn a lot about construction — I can now pretty much consider myself a professional rebar-ist, drywall-er, and stucco-er. All in all, it was a really awesome experience and I’m so thankful to have been a part of it. And spending my spring break getting to know Tim Whetstone, Mary Paul, and Bobby B was a plus, too. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone wanting to go next spring break!

Hiking in Zion National Park

by Sam Christopher, junior Media and Communication major


We set out, two cars stuffed full to the brim with 10 people, food, and camping supplies; our destination: Zion National Park in Springdale, Utah. The cost of our campsite was about $4 per person per night, which is super cheap considering we had access to running water, working toilets, and views of the canyon walls unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

We started out by doing a bit of bouldering. In the park, deer roam free, and we were lucky to get within five feet of a small herd while we were climbing. During our trip we hiked a part of The Narrows, which is a 16 mile long canyon carved out by the Virgin River. The canyon walls were thirty feet high at its narrowest point. We also hiked into the Orderville Canyon, a side canyon in The Narrows, which requires climbing up several waterfalls.

The next day we hiked Angels Landing, a towering rock spire perched in the middle of the canyon, offering breathtaking views. We were having so much fun we opted to stay an extra night. The next day we continued to hike and climb and explore the canyon. As we left I began to feel sick also. We later stopped in Palm Springs where six guys and myself fell ill, stricken by the stomach flu. Although most of us became violently ill for a night, it wasn’t enough to ruin a remarkable trip filled with incredible bouldering, world-class canyons, sleeping under the stars, and one of a kind fellowship.

Surfing and serving

by Ryan Shoemaker, sophomore philosophy and art double major


Over spring break I was fortunate enough to go alongside PLNU’s Surf Team after their third place finish in the all-state college competition, on a surf and serve trip to Mexico. We paired with Beautiful Feet, an organization that provides shoes for the underprivileged across the globe. Rosarito was our home base for most of the week where, in between tacos and surf sessions, we worked with Catharine’s Kids, an orphanage for special needs children. The opportunity to be a part of those kid’s day to day for those brief hours was eye opening, we were so blessed by their infectious joy, amidst what can seem to be overwhelming circumstances. One day we made our way up to Tijuana where we took part in the Spring Break Build with some fellow classmates. And to top off the week we visited a Oaxacan (wah-hawk-in) community. They are the lowest class of Mexico. They have their own dialect and many don’t even speak Spanish. The adults work in the fields an average 10 hours a day, 6 days a week to just barely feed their family. In our day there we spent a lot of time rough housing with the rambunctious niños and doing some various service projects. We spent the afternoon there washing their feet and giving them shoes. After a solid game of futbol we closed out the week with one last dawn patrol and headed back to Loma. It was an incredible week spent experiencing God’s kingdom with our neighbors in Mexico.

Sailing through Greece and experiencing history

by Ryan Fuentes, senior history major


For Spring Break 2014, seven of my fellow classmates and I accompanied Dr. Kennedy on a trip to Greece for a sailing excursion through the Saronic Gulf. There were many official purposes as well as individual goals we had for our Greek venture. Among them were: to explore and appreciate ancient history and ruins, to enjoy an adventurous sailing voyage on waters fared by those some of us had read about in our textbooks, and of course to indulge in the delight that is Greek culture, cuisine and hospitality. Our fearless leader, Dr. Rick Kennedy, was always willing and able to keep the conversation lively with talk of the origins and practices of ancient Greek Democracy, the teachings of Paul throughout Greece as we traced the path he makes found in Acts, and of course the many stories told by the famous ancient historian, Herodotus. Speaking of these things while being present at places such as the Acropolis, the Pynx, Ancient Corinth or even out on the Saronic Gulf was always quite entertaining and enjoyable. Except perhaps if such a conversation was being had onboard our boat as all of us (with the exception of Dr. Kennedy) were feeling seasick. Nevertheless, even if this trip were possible without our brilliant professor and captain, it would not have been nearly as gratifying. I believe I can speak for the other seven of my fellow “Sailor Scholars” in saying that our trip proved to be quite a spirited and amazing adventure.


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