Gardner-Webb Students Share Their Faith in York, England, Over Spring Break

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Mission Team Works with Youth in Local Church and School

Photo shows a group of 12 students from Gardner-Webb University who traveled to England to share their faith. The group is holding a runnin' bulldog flagBOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—A group of 12 students from Gardner-Webb University traveled to York, England, over spring break to minister to youth in the local church and school. Led by Mindy Robinson, GWU coordinator for Community Engagement and Student Ministries, and her husband, Chase, the group partnered with UK-USA Ministries/Youth for Christ.

A primary focus of their 10-day trip was teaching in the religious studies courses that are part of the Church of England School curriculum. The GWU team shared the parable of “The Rich Fool” from Luke 12:13-21 in 16 different classes and presented the gospel to around 600 students, who identified as agnostic or atheist.

Raeanne Sugg, a sophomore from Seagrove, N.C., searched for ways to engage the students, who mostly didn’t want to talk about God. “Eventually, I was able to make connections and get the students thinking about the truths I was providing them,” she offered. “Despite the discouraging moments, some students showed glimpses of hope as they began to understand that what sets Christianity apart from every other religion is the grace of God and what he has done for us.”

The younger students asked difficult questions, but Mekenna Boswell, a freshman from Mocksville, N.C., said she was able to find the answers. “I came to recognize that I can confess God’s name to others and answer the hard questions that were thrown at me,” she observed. “If I could not answer a question confidently, I brought a leader into the group to answer the student’s questions and add another perspective.”

Maggie Mae Everett, a senior from Medina, Ohio, connected easier, because she is a member of the GWU soccer team. “I was able to reach them and build relationships by merging my passion for soccer with my passion for the gospel, all while extending grace and love to people of all ages and backgrounds,” she offered. “At the youth group session, the afterschool club, and the Friday barbecue, you would find me outside on the pavement playing soccer with about 10-15 kids.”

Other team members were:

  • Katie Furr, junior, Hickory, N.C.
  • Elizabeth Griffith, sophomore, Roland, Ark.
  • Kaitlyn Guins, sophomore, Conover, N.C.
  • Ashton Knotts, junior, Kannapolis, N.C.
  • Destiny NeeSmith, sophomore, Kings Mountain, N.C.
  • Jordan Plummer, sophomore, Mocksville, N.C.
  • Josh Walker, junior, Newton, N.C.
  • Michael West, freshman, Spartanburg, S.C.
  • Kassidy White, sophomore, Elkton, Md.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university, Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at