J-term trip to India to center around academics

By Alex Pollock

Junior Jeff Babbs dances with Indian girls from Home of Love during last year's trip. (Photo provided)

Junior Jeff Babbs dances with Indian girls from Home of Love during last year’s trip. (Photo provided)

This January, David Alexander, Ph.D, and his wife will be leading the university’s third January term trip to India. Fifteen students will be making the three week trip, along with one recent graduate. As before, the trip will include spending time at Home of Love orphanage, but this year’s trip has a slightly different focus.

“This trip is going to have more of an academic focus,” Alexander said. “We will be doing a lot more learning about Indian culture, Indian philosophy and Indian religion.”

The majority of India’s population is Hindu, but the team is going to an Indian state where Christians are not completely rejected.

“The state where we go is one of the most accepting of Christianity … but we still have to be careful,” Alexander said.

The team will be ministering to the girls at Home of Love, a Christian orphanage.

“The focus at Home of Love is being with the girls, playing with the girls and educating the girls,” he said.

While the team gets to share Christ with the girls, the girls also have something to give.

“[The girls] have taught me how to love without limits,” junior Kaitlyn Troyer said. “They have a passion for God that I never thought possible.”

Troyer will be making her third trip to Home of Love.

To emphasize the new academic focus, the team will be reading and watching Indian films together while on the trip. They will also build team relationships and explore surrounding villages.

“The bonding that takes place between the students and each other and between me and the students is something I’ve never experienced before in my life,” Alexander said.

The trip will allow students to build lasting relationships with the girls at the orphanage.

“It’s cool to go back because they remember me,” Troyer said.

Sophomore Beth Turner will also be a part of the team, making her first trip to Home of Love.

“I’m excited to see how we can impact those girls,” she said. I’m excited to get a new perspective on life in India.”

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