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Students standing in a circle praying
Rev. Greg Haseloff led the student team in prayer before leaving for Houston on Friday morning.

December 08, 2017

WILMORE, Ky. — Finals exams are over at Asbury University, but for a 15-member team of students and staff, one more project remains — hurricane relief efforts in Houston, Texas.

In September, Asbury took up a campus-wide donation for hurricane relief, with plans to volunteer after the end of the semester. Today, a group of students gave up their first week of Christmas break to serve.

The team departed on Friday morning, and will spend a week partnering with St. Luke United Methodist Church in Houston on projects including removing damaged furniture and drywall and completing construction for families who have been unable to recover fully from the storm.

Hurricane Harvey may be old news this December, but for many families in Houston, Texas, the challenges are still fresh. Students say giving up their time to serve is the perfect way to kick off Christmas break. 

“Hearing about the disaster inspired my belief that the church needs to take responsibility for the people in need around us,” said Pete Manchester ’20. “When I heard there was going to be a trip, I saw it as an opportunity to exercise my faith, putting it in action to serve people in need.”

Sarah Boiney ’18 says the trip is an opportunity to give tangible expression to her faith.

“I really want to get to work being the hands and feet of Christ,” Boiney said. “It’s something we often don’t do enough, as Christians, and I want to start making it a habit for life.” 

The trip continues a growing tradition of disaster relief at Asbury. Last summer, students volunteered Baton Rouge, La., following devastating floods. In recent years, students have also served in Pass Christian, Miss. (2006), New Orleans, La. (2012), West Liberty, Ky. (2012), Moore, Okla. (2013) and other areas affected by natural disasters.

“It’s very much an Asbury thing, through and through,” said Rev. Greg Haseloff, campus chaplain at Asbury and one of the trip’s leaders. “I’m very amazed by how students are willing to give up their break; how they’re willing to help and go in the name of Jesus to be part of the recovery of Houston.”


Learn more about service opportunities at Asbury.