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The Student Newspaper of Palm Beach Atlantic University Volume 8, Issue 17

This past Spring Break, students delivered the message of Jesus Christ through PBA Missions trips. The trips took the students to Haiti, Rio de Janeiro, Honduras and many other places. Check out their stories inside.

Monday, March 26, 2012

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versity Chris Hernandez

Managing Editor

John Sizemore

Executive Editor

Duane Meeks Publisher

MISSIONS • The Beacon

Laying healing hands in Haiti

Editorial Staff Cash W. Lambert

News Editor

Kayla Viaud

Features Editor

Joshua Reid

Sports Editor

Christina Cernik Photo Editor

Charlotte Rakestraw

Art Director Meghan Gilmore

Jenny Hendriksen

Web Editor John Sizemore

Weekly Staff Duane Meeks

Saudia Ali Becca Stripe Gina Cipolla No part of the Beacon may be reproduced without Tyann Mullen permission. The opinions expressed in the Beacon are not necessarily those of the Palm Beach Atlantic Faith University Warren administration, staff or faculty. Victoria Vartan Meghan Gilmore Greg Halmos Molly Black

By Kayla Viaud and Victoria Vartan Features Editor and Staff Writer

Submissions: If you would like to submit a letter to the editor, a news tip, corrections, or contribute to the Beacon, email the managing editor:


No part of the Beacon may be reproduced without permission. The opinions expressed in the Beacon are not necessarily those of the Palm Beach Atlantic University administration, staff or faculty.

Corrections for 3/19: See an error we did not catch? Help hold us accountable by emailing the editor of the section. Our goal is to bring you the cleanest copy possible.


erse of the week:

He put another parable before them, saying “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the samllest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests on the branches.” -Matthew 13: 31- 32 ESV

Cover photo by Kailyn Tyrrell

Photos courtesy of Jacki Stuckert

Seeing the affects of the earthquake in the land and in the people: The deserted mountains of Haiti (top right) offered beauty in the warm climate. PBA student Carly Stupienski (middle) is baptized in the warm water as Josh Connor and Daylen Brinkley pray. Josh Connor (left bottom) prays over a child as his father watches.

t was one of the biggest catastrophes in the 21st century. The 7.0 earthquake in 2010 that rocked Haiti killed 316,000 people and affected another 3 million. Days after the quake, a global outpouring commenced as countries sent aid to help in the rebuilding efforts. Two years later in 2012, countries are still giving aid to Haiti, through finances, water, and helping hands. Thirteen pairs of those hands belonged to Palm Beach Atlantic University students who traveled to the country for a much awaited mission trip. Daylen Brinkley, Carly Stupienski, Amanda DeMatteo, Olivia Luckey, Rubens Bernadin, Jacki Stuckert, Josh Connor, Crystal Sullivan, Colby Girten, Ashley Layman, Sammi Denker, Brianna Dungan, and Abby Batista had prepared for the trip by sharing testimonies and other team building exercises. For Stuckert, the trip was a time to return to Haiti, a country she believes she is meant to be a part of. She was a member of last year’s trip to Haiti. “It was heartbreaking but it also sparked something in me. I knew I wanted to be a part of this country’s rebuilding of this nation,” she said. As a team leader, Brinkley said that the team wanted to encourage each other to build relationships and grow closer to God. “When we are in the field, we do not have many responsibilities other than making sure the team is working together well,” he said. The students worked with an

organization called Mission of Hope Haiti. The organization is a noadoption orphanage that hopes to raise leaders in their nation and see Haiti rebuilt by its people. “I think it’s a beautiful thing,” Stuckert said. “These children love their county.” The program is wide and diverse and helps Haitians with everything from feeding the hungry, taking in and educating the orphan children, to giving prosthesis for free at their prosthetics lab. Brinkley said most of the team’s time in Haiti was devoted to the simple acts of praying for and loving on the people. Brinkley felt God delivered this message during a morning where the team broke up in groups to evangelize. They had spoken to several people, including a group of elderly women. One of the women in the group was blind. The students laid hands on her and prayed with faith that God could heal her. This is when Brinkley felt like God showed his amazing power. “Later that night during worship, a couple ladies who were medics joined us and said that in the village, within the hour that we had prayed for the woman, two people who were blind recovered their sight,” he said. By the end of the week Brinkley was thankful for his group’s opportunity to serve in Haiti because he knew God’s followers were needed. “It was very eye opening to see how much Satan was working in this nation that is heavily under the influence of voodoo,” he said. “But it was even more so encouraging to see how infinitely much more powerful God is and how He is turning the country around.”

MISSIONS • The Beacon

March 26, 2012 • Page 3

PBA brings ‘one love’ to Jamaica By Meghan Gilmore and Faith Warren Staff Writers


raveling to Jamaica was more than flashy resorts and ritzy parties for Palm Beach Atlantic University students. The trip, described by co-leader Sarah Walsh as “eye opening,” included co-leader Steve Efkarpidis, Kourtney Sumner, Jessica Sexton, Isabella Griffith, Marissa Ziegler, J.P. Dolan, Sabira Pringle, and Shelly-Ann Bigby. Although the trip was a short eight days, the team had been mentally, emotionally, and spiritually preparing for the trip by meeting on a weekly basis to pray, and told their testimonies to each other to unify them as a group. “God really blessed us with a great team,” said Sexton. “We all had different gifts that worked so well together and as a result God was glorified.” The team was welcomed in Montego Bay with beautiful weather, sunny blue skies, and occasional rain showers, which was a blessing to the mountain communities they served. The students were occupied every day with activities that included visits to orphanages with disabled children, working in schools with young children and street evangelism. The students worked through “2 All Nations,” an organization started by Pastor Mike Olive of Common Ground Church. Olive accompanied the students, teaching and guiding them on how to best serve the Lord on their trip. “I was excited for God to reveal himself to me,” said Efkarpidis, “in a way that would make such a positive and critical imprint on my heart.”

The students, besides packing for themselves, also packed balloons, paint, toys and stuffed animals for the children they visited. The team members played with the children and even taught them songs like “Jesus Loves Me.” Local church Christ Fellowship donated 50 Bibles for the students to distribute. This donation of Bibles ended up being an essential component to the student’s ministry. “Through the power of prayer we all saw God provide for our needs,” said Efkarpidis. “When Christ Fellowship donated to our team it was just another way we saw God work.” One thing that struck Walsh was seeing the children with tattered clothes and no shoes. “I could describe Jamaica as beautifully broken,” said Walsh. “But despite the brokenness it was such a beautiful sight to see and experience.” She reflected that many times people take too much for granted and don’t stop to enjoy the “little and simple pleasures in life.” Through the painful sights, the students all seemed to learn critical lessons. Walsh explained that those in the villages managed to live off so little yet somehow remained content. She said that the joy on the children’s faces was an encouragement to the team as they felt moved by the simplicity of their living. Although Sexton may not be familiar with her own neighbors at home, within a week she considered the Jamaican people to be family. “It was a true feeling of community,” said Sexton. “Everything we did, from ministering to praying, was done in unity.”

Giving the reggae nation a different beat: The team visited 6 schools in Jamaica, spending time with the children (top) and seeing the differences in their school versus schools in America. The students visited the poorer parts of the country (middle right). The locals were incredibly friendly (middle bottom), as a man from the Jamaican Bible Church cuts the students a coconut. Not only did they spend time with Jamaican children at schools; they also visited the children at the Jamaican Bible Church (bottom left) and some tourist hotspots, like Doctor’s Cave beach (middle bottom). Sarah Walsh (bottom right) walks with a girl after a church service.

Photos courtesy of Sarah Walsh • The Beacon

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Photo courtesy of Kate Randall for the Beacon

Mississippi: Kate Randall plays with children at the Palmer Home for Children. The spring break trip was organized by the Workship office.

Helping in Honduras: Members of the Honduras mission trip help carry supplies to a village. The group served children around Lake Yojoa through VBS and work projects at the future home of the H

Rare Find: Members of the Manaus, Brazil trip swam with the pink Amazon River Dolphins.

Group photo: Members of the Honduras mission trip pose for a photo. The team cleared trees and dug trenches for a water line for an orphanage. Photo courtesy of Makiah Sweat for the Beacon


March 26, 2012 • Page 5 • The Beacon

Photo by Christina Cernik for the Beacon

Education Ministry: Children in the Dominican Republic pray at Lighthouse School, whose main focus is the ministry of education of preschool through 12th grade.

Dominican Republic: A young boy from the Dominican Republic gazes at the camera for a photograph.

Photo by Christina Cernik for the Beacon

Photo by Kailyn Tyrell for the Beacon

Honduras Life Center Orphanage.

Christmas Mission Trip: A child from Los Alcarrizos, Santo Domingo, Domincan. The trip was led by Men’s Lacrosse Coach Chris Southard. Photo courtesy of Kailyn Tyrell for the Beacon

Photo by Christina Cernik for the Beacon • The Beacon


March 26, 2012 • Page 7

Learning the language of Rio

By Becca Stripe Staff Writer


aving never been on a missions trip before, the idea of going out of the country to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for a full week made me quite nervous. I was taking a big leap of faith. I had to place all of my trust in the Lord with this decision and trip, for He was in control the entire time. The team I served on consisted of a variety of PBA students, six boys and six girls, ranging from freshmen to seniors. Just as all of the school missions trips, we had one male leader and one female leader who together helped to lead our team on the trip. Although Rio de Janeiro is an incredibly large city in Brazil and is in an absolutely beautiful location on the Atlantic Ocean, there is much poverty sprinkled throughout the city. It may be hard to see as a tourist, but once you start going up into the mountains, the number of slums starts to become countless. The place where our team stayed was a house, which was a part of a

connecting church associated with New Hope Ministries. The house was the size of a typical American house (five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a kitchen, etc.), but, to the people living in the slums, it was like a mansion. This house was built in the midst of a neighborhood of slums on the mountain, and since its purchase by the church, it serves almost as a safe ground for the children living in the nearby. I always liked to think of the house being like the base during a game of tag; always having some place you could go to for a break or to just get away and be safe for a period of time. No matter their financial needs, backgrounds or families, these children are children; you can sense they just wanted to be kids with a desire to have fun and play with other children. You can also sense a need to be loved and taken care of. While on our missions trip, our main purpose was to work with the children by playing with them, loving on them and encouraging them. We held Bible studies and church worship services for all ages of the

children. We also did other things while down there such as deliver, organize and distribute donations from Americans, and helped to clean up the “backyard” of the house. One of the biggest challenges for our team was the language barrier. Many Americans think that Brazilians speak Spanish, but Portuguese is actually the native language to the country. It took a lot of time for us to break outside of our comfort zones and try to communicate with these children. By the third day, I realized that although we speak two completely different languages, we all sort of speak the same language. It is a difficult concept to grasp your mind around, but it became so beautiful to see how we were able to communicate with the children and them back with us through hand motions. But, it wasn’t just the hand motions that helped us to break that language barPhotos courtesy of Becca Stripe rier to communicate; the Holy Spirit To Rio with love: Over Spring Break, Becca Stripe was part of a missions trip to Rio de was with us guiding our thoughts Janeiro, Brazil. During the trip, the group stayed at a house built in the midst of a neighborhood of slums (top). Bible reading and prayer were in the forefront of the team’s time there and words all the way through.

(right middle). When they weren’t helping New Hope Ministries with jobs around the house (above), the team got to embrace the beauty that was Rio (middle left).


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Biblical. Missional. Global.

Shaping leaders who expand God’s kingdom around the world. phone 1.888.442.8701




Page 8 • March 26, 2012

MISSIONS • The Beacon

A family cares to the orphans Giving a hand:

Palm Beach Atlantic students and some kids jump into the pool. (Far right, Kelly Towne blows bubbles with a girl.) (Bottom, Sarah Woods and a girl spend time together by jumping rope.)

By Cash W. Lambert News Editor


o most American families, having children is a blessing. But Palm Beach Atlantic University students who traveled to Bolivia for a spring break mission trip realized that they weren’t anywhere close to home. “There were so many orphans that had been abandoned,” said team member Karli Newton. “We heard stories that the orphans would see their mom in the marketplace or their sister around the school. They just aren’t wanted.” The team stayed in an orphanage in Cochabamba through the organiPhotos courtesy of Mike Fernicola

zation Children’s Impact Network. Newton said that the Spanish word they use for orphan translates to disposable, something that came to a shock to the eight PBA students on the trip, which included Michael Fernicola, Kati Sommers, Johanna Wolz, Kelly Towne, Tehila-Grace Wilson, Sarah Woods, and Newton. “All the orphans were abused in some way,” Fernicola said. “Working with them was an awesome experience; they love on you just as much as you do to them.” The team spent time working on the orphanage’s property by using machetes to cut grass and pull weeds, which saved members of the organization three months of work with the extra help.

The team also performed the common skit “Everything” by Lifehouse, where they acted out a person throwing away all other vices and hindrances and following Christ. “The crowd went wild,” Newton said. Newton explained the life lesson the team received from the trip. “You get a new perspective, because often there are four poles attached to a tarp with a family cooking underneath it,” Newton said. Fernicola expressed the need for future missions to Bolivia. “The boys there needed all the love they can get and just by people being there for a week and loving on them shows that there are people to care for the orphans,” Fernicola said.

The Beacon 03/26/2012  

This week we take an in depth look at some of the missions trips from Spring Break.

The Beacon 03/26/2012  

This week we take an in depth look at some of the missions trips from Spring Break.