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Eight DU students recently joined University Ministry in West Virginia for a week of home repair, farm help, community building, prayer and simple living.

The May trip was part of University Ministry’s Summer Alternative Break Immersion program, which allows students to take part in service projects, build relationships and immerse themselves in a new culture, context and community.

At Bethlehem Farm in Summers County, West Virginia, students performed farm chores, including gardening and tending to the chicken coops, and home repair projects ranging from roofing to porch repair. They adopted sustainable practices such as composting and conserving water and power, all with the mindset of caring for God’s creations.

The students were encouraged to unplug from technology and live in accordance with Bethlehem Farm’s four cornerstones of community, prayer, simplicity and service.

“By the end of the week, the group forged meaningful relationships with one another, with students from Alvernia University who also participated, and with the farm caretakers and people of Appalachia,” said Kayla Jackson-Wolff, university minister. “As University Ministry’s first out-of-state Alternative Break Immersion trip since the pandemic, it is a joy to extend impactful opportunities such as this to DU students again.”