United States (MNN) — Alternative' spring breaks are a big hit with college students in the New England area.
Christian and non-Christian college students are invited by Intervarsity Christian Fellowship groups to travel to New Orleans during their Spring breaks this year. This is the second year for the trip they have named KRUP, or Katrina Relief Urban Plunge.
Last year 30-40 percent of attendants were non-Christians who had heard about the project around campus. This year 450-500 students from schools such as Harvard, MIT, and Brown are doing work in New Orleans. They are now in their fourth and final week.
"Its been an exciting thing for us to be able to combine service and justice and faith evangelism kind of in one project together in the course of this month as each Spring break has happened," said Denise Rosetti of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship from New Orleans.
Students are aware that the trip is sponsored by a Christian organization. Daily discussions are planned during the trip about such issues as equality, faith and justice and
how it relates to Jesus. "We get great questions from students asking like, "How can you be a Christian and not be a hypocrite and not be a nun? Don't you have to be a nun in order to be a real Christian?' or ‘Why do Christians draw such a strong line between being a Christian and being a non-Christian?'" said
Everyone is invited to these discussions but no one is forced to come. "The fact that we give the students the choice allows us to be more frank, more up front," said Rosetti. "It allows us to be explicit without being coercive."
The curiosity doesn't stop once the trip is over. "We've seen a lot of fruit from the project and a lot of continued discussion on campuses afterwards," Rosetti said.
Therefore, follow up is the next thing they must consider. Some of the methods of
follow-up include curriculum they offer on campus, one-on-ones between Christian students and non-Christians who have questions, or KRUP reunions. "For students who have even become Christians through KRUPS most of the time that has been after the trip in some sort of
follow-up event," said Rosetti.
There have been several stories about students coming to know Christ through this trip and follow-up that has happened so far. "It sounds like the momentum is strong to continue doing a project of this nature next year," Rosetti said.