Lexi Schnaser — Staff Writer
Chicago. Colorado Springs. New Orleans. St. Louis. Atlanta. Houston. Panama City. Sound like fun places to travel? Well lucky for you, you could go to any of these places and more for a spring break PLIA trip! PLIA, or Putting Love Into Action, is a spring break mission trip program. Co-leader of PLIA, sophomore Sarah Holmberg, says PLIA is an opportunity for Dordt students to serve outside of the Sioux Center area and see other places around the country.
“It’s a really good opportunity to set aside studies and other focuses to go serve others, get to know classmates, serve God, and love on people,” Holmberg said.
This year’s PLIA group consists of the 109 Dordt students who applied for the trip by Friday, February fourteenth. There are usually anywhere from 100 to 125 students who take advantage of this opportunity each spring.
“Sports and band and choir really affect how many people can come because of tours and games,” says Holmberg. These opportunities are great ones as well, where students get to invest time in their activities they love. Some students also find the timing of the break a deterrent.
“For freshmen, it is their first year being away from home, so they want to go back to spend time with their families,” Holmberg said. “I hear from a lot of upperclassmen who are going on trips with their friends.” Additionally, some people choose to go home and earn some quick cash by working for the week. While these reasons are understandable, it is important to remember that we won’t always have these unique opportunities to serve.
Freshman Timothy Molitor says one reason he chose not to go on PLIA this year is because “it’s for a short amount of time, so even though I think you do get to do a lot of service, I’m not too inclined to go on that. If there was lower cost, I probably would go.”
This year, Dordt students will spread out across the U.S. to serve in fourteen different locations. Most of the service trips will consist of hands-on construction or landscaping work, while other trips are more relational where students will go into to schools and read to children or work with refugees.
“But all of it is relational because you get to know your site organization leaders and the people on your team really well,” says Holmberg.
One of Holmberg’s favorite parts about PLIA is that “even if [the people we’re serving] aren’t Christians, even if I’m not telling them about God’s love with my words, I can show them God’s love through what I’m doing and the time I spend with them.”