'As Told To' Stories
Written for Prof. Lori Johnston’s Feature Writing course, these “as told to” stories were created by a person’s spoken remarks recorded and then edited for publication. Comments trimmed for length and clarity.
 Why It’s Newsworthy: COVID-19 has affected Athens’ religious community and University of Georgia groups such as Wesley that organize mission trips for students. 


Sarah Shelnutt, freshman associate director over missions, youth and advancement,  discusses planning during the COVID-19 pandemic, as told to Savannah Ware.


We have basically been really open-handed and flexible with everything. We’re waiting and hoping to see if we’ll be able to do more service opportunities, less relational ministry stuff in May. Most of the trips that we do are long-term partnerships with our hosts. They’re friends of ours. Us not going is not going to take away from those relationships.

It’s sad that we’ll miss out on those opportunities, but we’re hopeful to partner with them in prayer and still be contending for their ministry even though we can’t go there in person. It’ll just be a different kind of investment into that church.

It’s honestly been very humbling to plan and then have to let go of things. I’ve learned a lot. I’m really looking forward to hopefully seeing our three or four trips go in May and be successful, and be safe. I’m really looking forward to talking to our hosts this summer to start dreaming for spring and summer of next year.

I think that the trips we take next year, the people who go will be really, really hungry. There will be more need to be met. I’m really excited to plan for those and meet new people without putting them at risk. I’m excited to do things that don’t get cancelled. I’m really proud of my trip leaders, I’m really proud of the way they’ve adopted and not let it get them down.

I’m really proud of our team for not losing hope.


Savannah Ware is a fourth-year majoring in journalism and minoring in political science in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.



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