BATON ROUGE, La. (BP)–Southern Baptist college students from three Louisiana universities will be spending a portion of their Christmas break singing Christmas carols and ministering to firefighters in New York City.
About 100 students and staff from the Baptist Collegiate Ministries of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Shreveport and Bossier City will be participating in the Dec. 14-21 ministry trip, according to BCM director Steve Masters.
The students raised their own funding for the trip and will be performing ministry tasks through the city. The team will lead Christmas parties at more than 40 fire stations and nearly 40 police stations. They also will deliver “Louisiana Christmas Boxes” to New York’s finest and bravest. The boxes include a bottle of Tabasco sauce, Mardi Gras beads, pralines and other treats synonymous with the Bayou State.
Many of the fire halls and precinct houses lost personnel during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. After a similar trip in 2001, firefighters extended an invitation for the Louisiana Baptist students to return for another round of caroling.
The students also will be involved in visiting nursing homes, providing food for the homeless and delivering 100 gifts to children in two hospitals.
During their stay in New York, the group will be housed at First Evangelical Free Church in Brooklyn. The BCM at LSU will install two additional showers at the church with materials donated by a Baton Rouge plumbing company.
“I love New York City. I’ve been twice before,” said team member Josh Britton, a freshman from Denham Springs, La., “and I’m excited about the chance to go there and share the gospel.
“I think God is really going to do some incredible things, both through us and in us. I’m sure I will have an incredible time in New York with all the friends I’ve made at the BCM, not only seeing the sights together, but more importantly, sharing Jesus together.”
Saying that God “has really given me a passion to share the gospel,” Jennifer Fontenot, of Lake Charles, La., noted, “I think New York is a place that is so open to hearing the gospel because of 9/11 and the culture there since 9/11.
“I think people are searching and to be able to boldly share the news of Jesus Christ with them will be awesome,” Fontenot said. “We will be singing Christmas carols to the fire and police departments. I really want them to know how much we appreciate them for their courage and sacrifice. I am really excited to see what God is going to do there.”
Chad Ramsey, from West Monroe, La., said he is “looking forward to bringing a taste of Louisiana to the police and firemen of New York in appreciation for what they do and for what they represent. I am excited about singing Christmas carols for the people of New York in celebration of our Savior’s birth.”