Anna Hahn from Hilliard, Ohio, class of 2008, has found her passion. As a high school student, Hahn participated in many mission trips with her church youth group and realized she missed serving in that capacity when she came to campus. An active member of the student-led Christian ministry, Primetime, Hahn began looking into organizing trips for other students last spring.
“I talked to Pastor Rachel (Tune) and the leaders of Primetime,” Hahn said. “They all agreed that it was a good idea.”
Hahn coordinated her first mission trip Sept. 23-25, 2005, leading a group of Wittenberg students to Camp Wanake, a United Methodist Church Camp in Beach City, Ohio, which specializes in small-group decentralized camping during the summer and hosts spiritual retreats and church groups during the fall, winter and spring. Hahn worked at the camp during the summer and was able to begin making arrangements while she was there.
“Immediately after school started this fall, I started advertising the trip at Primetime’s weekly meetings,” Hahn said. “It took off from there.”
Dave Wisner from Canal Winchester, Ohio, class of 2006; Ellie Stonecash from Springboro, Ohio, class of 2008; Tosha Johnson from Cincinnati, Ohio, class of 2007; Brenna Noll from Bethel Park, Pa., class of 2009; and Gretchen Mueller from Doylestown, Pa., class of 2008, joined Hahn and five students from other colleges on the trip. They painted one of the cabins used for the summer camp programs, and one night they climbed the camp’s 47-foot climbing tower after building a campfire.
Hahn added that the experience in planning her first mission was a little different than she expected, but she learned a lot from it.
“I think that the trip went well, for the first time,” Hahn said. “The most difficult part was getting people interested in the trip and finding enough people to participate.”
The weekend she chose just happened to coincide with the inauguration of Wittenberg University President Mark H. Erickson, and Hahn said she will never compete with a major Wittenberg event again. Hahn has planned a second mission trip, which will take place Feb. 24-26, 2006.
“We are going to the Nehemiah Mission in Cleveland, Ohio, which is based out of People’s Hope United Methodist Church,” Hahn said. “I went on a mission trip there my senior year in high school, and it was a great experience.”
Although Hahn is not certain what work the students will be performing, she said that it will most likely be in inner-city Cleveland. Although she coordinated one-on-one with each participant during her first mission trip, she plans to have the entire group meet before the February trip. She would also like the group to be all Wittenberg students, which she feels will make it more unified.
“I think the trip to Wanake was great,” Hahn said. “I’m hoping the Cleveland trip will be even better.”
Hahn, a history major with Spanish and religion minors, plans to go to seminary for a master’s degree in Christian education and youth pastoring after graduation.
- Phyllis Eberts
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