Native-American Adventure

Athletic Mission Trip to New Mexico Offers Students Time for Renewal, Reflection

The summer is the perfect time for adventure, and Gardner-Webb University Assistant Coach for Track and Field Evan Brusich recently traveled to Capitan, N.M., with a group of five students for an enlightening weeklong mission trip. Merideth Byl, Ashleigh Cleveland, Laine Parker, Keaton Poole, and Annamarie Warley joined Brusich for the journey.

Once there, the mission team combined their shared love of athletics and Christ, demonstrated their faith to the people of Capitan, and learned a little bit about themselves along the way.

While in New Mexico, Brusich and his group worked with Lone Tree Camps, a mission-based camp that uses the outdoors to share the message of Christ and build meaningful relationships with fellow campers. Founded in 1980, the camp started out as a small site composed of a few log cabins on the Apache reservation. Today, there are four ministries within the organization, which serve hundreds of people each year.

The mission team also worked with Alamo Baptist Church on the Alamo Navajo Indian Reservation, where they completed a variety of tasks—from putting roofs on neighboring houses to painting and stuccoing other buildings. Due to the athletic background of the group members, Brusich was able to create a unique missions experience that incorporated a great deal of recreational activities into the schedule. “An athletics mission trip is about spreading your love of Christ through sport,” Brusich describes. “Hopefully while we were doing the athletic side of things, we brought some fulfillment to younger folks in the area.”

Brusich’s main goal is for the team was to impact both the children and the adults in the area, while maintaining the reputation of Gardner-Webb as a place that believes in demonstrating faith through action. “I hope the people on the reservation would say, ‘There are good, God-fearing folk at Gardner-Webb.’ Then, we’ve done a good job and know we served them well in a short time.”

Learn more about the GWU Office of Christian Life & Service and other mission opportunities.