Real Break, a program of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship, provides week-long service and pilgrimage trips for college students over spring break. Real Break is built on four pillars of fellowship, education, worship and service. As an alternative option to the modern day spring break, Orthodox college students are given the opportunity to travel the world while growing to understand the meaning of seeing Christ in your neighbor.

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Alex with some of the children of Pro Vita Orphanage

Simply put, Real Break changed my life. Going into my freshman year of college I was a graphic design major with big dreams of living in a city and living a life full glam. That spring, I traveled on a Real Break trip to the Pro Vita Orphanage in Romania. My eyes and heart were opened to a whole new love and passion for serving my brother in Christ. We spent the first half of our trip interacting with the children and adults at the orphanage, playing, helping with homework, and completing tasks around the property. We could see how grateful the children were to just have the opportunity to spend time with us and to laugh and share the love of Christ.

The second half of our trip was spent in Bucharest, exploring the city and visiting monasteries. Romania has a such a rich Orthodox history that it was really an inspiration for us all. I distinctly remember that during the second half of the trip, we all could not stop thinking about all of the beautiful people at the orphanage. We had come to love them so much, and we wanted nothing more than to return back to the orphanage and spend more time with them.

Upon return, I without a single question, switched my major to social work and ultimately changed my lifestyle. Since then I am constantly striving to live a life of service. I joined a service fraternity, interned with FOCUS, traveled to Nicaragua where I taught English and built homes, and most importantly, I have turned my experience in to an opportunity to be the Real Break leader for this year and enable others to have the same experience.

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Real Break Romania 2014

Now, I’m not saying everyone is going to go on Real Break and have this life epiphany and become a social worker and move to a third world country… but I am saying that Real Break will make you more culturally- and globally-aware. You will be pushed outside your comfort zone in a different culture, and from that, you will grow spiritually and mentally. I hope that all my brothers and sisters in Christ will take this beautiful opportunity that is before them and experience the same passion I did two years ago. I am eternally grateful for Real Break and the way it has shaped my life.

REGISTER for Real Break 2016 today!


About the Author

Alexandra Abboud is a junior at University of Miami in Ohio studying social work. She serves as the Real Break Student Leader on the Student Leadership Board. You can read her full bio here.