CSCC’s Baptist Collegiate Ministries Completes Mission Trip To Nicaragua

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cleveland State’s Baptist Collegiate Ministries took a group of 13 students to Granada, Nicaragua on a mission trip. The trip was divided into three parts: elementary school visits, village humanitarian visits and island ministry. 

During the elementary school visits, a team of BCM students visited a local school and were able to interact, teach and play with over 230 children and their teachers in three separate locations. For craft time, the team took a Polaroid camera and enough film to take pictures of each child. 

Steven Johnston, BCM campus minister, stated, “Most of these children had never had their picture taken so imagine the surprise when they were handed a picture of themselves and placed it on a simple foam sheet and a popsicle stick.” 

Small villages are spread out all around the outskirts of Granada. During the village visits, the students set up appointments with 20 local families to offer them assistance and get to know their culture. Each evening, the team packed boxes of much needed supplies and food staples to deliver to these families. The boxes contained about two weeks’ worth of supplies. After presenting the families with the gift, students sat with the families and shared life stories for over an hour, and 31 adults ended up accepting Christ as a result of those visits. 

Mr. Johnston said, “One of our BCM students, Selina Forester, went to Nicaragua with us two years ago and she saw a huge need for children to have diapers. She just thought of using T-shirts to make cloth diapers and made a pattern. One T-shirt makes one diaper, so we had T-shirt drives across Cleveland State’s campus. She calls her service ‘Bundled and Blessed’ and made 1,000 diapers to send on various trips this summer—over 200 were handed out to the families in the villages of Nicaragua.”

Mr. Johnston continued, “We had a night at CSCC where we had several sewing machines set up and a bunch of students and community members came here and sewed diapers all night long. It was definitely a group effort; Chad Cameron, Fitness Center coordinator, was instrumental in the T-shirt drive by collecting T-shirts from people in the CSCC Fitness Center.”

“The most rewarding part of the trip was not only spreading the gospel, but also getting to put smiles on the faces of the little kids by simply taking pictures with them and playing games,” stated BCM student Kara Lance. “This was my first trip to Nicaragua and also out of the country! I would love to go back if ever given the opportunity again. The people are so welcoming and generous, and it is gorgeous there.” 

Mr. Johnston said, “Many of our students came back with a whole new perspective on their American life. Several of them are considering entering full-time service, whether it is missionary or humanitarian, because of the trip.”

 According to Mr. Johnston, there are many small isolated island communities located in Lake Nicaragua with little or no access to transportation to the mainland. Food is scarce and fresh water is a chore to procure. One project the team undertook was to deliver building supplies for a church/community center. In the course of four days, hundreds of sections of rebar, tons (literally) of sand, rock, gravel and concrete bags were carried to the mainland. All of these supplies were placed on the team’s shoulders, carried 50 yards into the lake onto a primitive boat and ferried to the island. The much needed supplies were then carried through another 100 yards of lake water, up the beach and to their final destination—the future sanctuary on the island. All of this was accomplished in near 100 degree temperatures by just a handful of community college students from Cleveland.

Mr. Johnston said, “I think that may be one of our biggest accomplishments even though we did not get to see it completed. Just to know we were a part of that. I think it is important for students to know that even though we never got to see the end product, it never would have happened had it not been for their hard work.”

 Mr. Johnston insists the trip was not all work, there was also some play involved as the trip also involved touring many cathedrals, as well as a zip line adventure through the rainforest on top of a volcano.

 Ms. Lance said, “I love being a part of the BCM because it is a place where I can go between classes and study or just have fun with the other students. There are so many fun events like Acoustic Coffeehouse concerts, holiday parties and Free Lunch Thursdays. I have made many lifelong friendships in the two years I have been involved there.”

  The Baptist Collegiate Ministries has approximately 75 active members and is located at 1475 Norman Chapel Road (across the street from Cleveland State).They provide a free lunch every Thursday from 12-1 p.m. at the BCM and a weekly Bible study on Monday nights at 7:30 p.m. The BCM is also very involved throughout campus and participate in many campus-wide events. For more information on the BCM, contact Steven Johnston at 645-4027 or email bcmcleveland@gmail.com.   


UT Offers New Scholarship For Eligible Transfer Students

Students transferring to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, this fall are eligible to receive the university's new Volunteer Transfer Scholarship.  "The first group of students who took advantage of the Tennessee Promise program are now completing their community college studies and will be looking at four-year universities to complete their bachelor's degrees," said ... (click for more)

CSCC To Host 9th Annual Environmental Awareness Fair

Cleveland State Community College will be hosting the 9th annual environmental awareness celebration on Saturday, April 8 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. called “It’s All About the Green.” This celebration will be held in the courtyard in front of the L. Quentin Lane Gymnasium with parking below the gym. There will be food, presentations, entertainment, and various vendors from the Cleveland ... (click for more)

Pet Dog Dies In Trailer Fire Near Signal Mountain Road

A pet dog died in a trailer fire off Signal Mountain Road on Wednesday night.   Chattanooga firefighters responded to a structure fire around  9:30 p.m.  in a mobile home park at 174 Bledsoe Terrace. The woman who lived there told Battalion Chief Carlos Hampton that she had just left for work when the fire was discovered. The firefighters got the ... (click for more)

Judge Bales To Ask Governor Haslam For Disability Leave

General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck said he received a letter from Judge David Bales Tuesday evening, saying he was in the process of preparing a letter to Governor Bill Haslam requesting he be placed on disability leave until he has received clearance from his doctor to return to the bench.   Judge Bales said that his doctors are preparing their recommendations ... (click for more)

Repeal Obamacare, Congressman Fleischmann - And Response (2)

Chuck: I'm writing to express my strong opposition to the plan that is being rolled out by Paul Ryan to replace Obamacare. And as I'm writing this, I'm remembering all the times you and all of your Republican colleagues over the last six years campaigned on REPEALING  Obamacare and used that call to action as the basis for your reelection. And I'm also remembering the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: You, The Bald-Headed Lady

You were wearing a pretty sweat shirt and blue jeans when I saw you outside the Infusion Center at Erlanger Hospital on Wednesday. You were the one who was nearly bald and I was the guy you greeted with a huge smile as we said hello in passing. You reminded me exactly of my brother Franklin. Years ago when chemotherapy began to rob him of his hair, Franklin was pretty devastated ... (click for more)