Immersion trips are one of my favorite opportunities at Hope. Students can sign up with Campus Ministries and travel on weeklong trips over spring break where they are able to be immersed in a new culture, have their worldviews expanded, serve in new ways, and build community with one another.

In my freshman year, I was blessed to travel to Nashville and learn about people experiencing homelessness over spring break. This past week, I went on an immersion trip to the Dominican Republic. My experience was so different from my time in Nashville, yet still so very beautiful.

Last year, a close friend and I signed up for Nashville together. We didn’t know anyone else going into the week, so we leaned on each other a lot through that experience. This year, I signed up for the DR trip by myself. I was so nervous to travel out of the country with 20 students I didn’t know, but I’m so glad I pushed myself to do it. Going out of my comfort zone led me to meet so many amazing, Christ-like people from Hope from all different years, majors, and backgrounds. These are connections that I hope and expect will only continue building now that we’re back on campus.

Every immersion trip has a different focus. In the Dominican Republic, we spent the majority of our week building a chapel for a community that had requested it. Personally, I’ve never done anything construction-related before. The nature of this project as a whole really challenged me and pushed me to depend on God– because in my weakness, He is strong. It was so cool to be the hands and feet of Christ in this new way.

Our team and the chapel we built!

We also had the opportunity to engage with the families that lived in the village where we built the chapel. The pastor, missionaries, and church congregation are some of the most joyful and generous people I have ever met. Their demeanors and the way they reflect Christ’s love is something that has stayed on my mind since being back in the states.

We truly had a beautiful week of worship, testimonies, dependance and serving in the Dominican Republic. I’m so thankful that Hope and Campus Ministries have opportunities like immersion trips that make perspective-broadening experiences attainable for college students. Signing up for any immersion trip is an experience I truly couldn’t recommend more. I truly can’t wait to see where God takes me next spring break, whether that’s back to Nashville or DR, or maybe somewhere new altogether…

Published by Audrey Wells

Class of 2026 Hometown: Portage, MI Majors: Communications & Spanish Minor: Social Witness Ministry & Global Health

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