PITTSBURG — A student at Pittsburg State University hopes his woodworking skills can raise the $800 he’s short for a summer mission trip to Germany with Campus Christians.
Some of Max Burson’s carpentry work is currently on display at Root Coffeehouse in Pittsburg. The soon-to-be PSU junior is studying wood technology and hopes selling his handcrafted coffee table and pens can make up the shortfall for the June 13 trip.
“I realized this summer might be my last chance to go on a mission trip overseas,” he said. “I thought it was a good opportunity and God was calling me to do this.”
Burson and four others — including Campus Minister James Bacus — will be traveling to Germany from June 13 to July 3. Bacus has been with the ministry eight years, and said students have used their talents to raise funds before.
“I think it is great … we’ve had other students do similar things in the past and it is a good way for them to earn that money for the trip,” he said.
Burson said the rest of the $3,000 trip is being funded by family, friends, selling a bike and his tax return.
The coffeehouse has handcrafted pens for $20 and $30 — depending on the “bolt action” clicker — and a $325 coffee table. He said the table took 29 hours and is made from a local cherry tree.
“At Root, we really try to emphasize community involvement including partnerships with other businesses and local artisans,” owner of Root CoffeeHouse Lindsey Kling said in a message. “When Max approached us, we were incredibly excited to be able to display such quality products and hopefully help him further his mission work in the process.”
Burson said he sold a few pens since setting up in the corner of Root last month. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Some of his other work can be found at Etsy.com/nz/shop/BursonWoodworking as well.
“Woodworking has always been a passion of mine, I really enjoy working with me hands,” Burson said. “Eventually, I would like to start my own business.”
Students will be working with refugees on the trip. Germany has hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and had the most asylum applicants with more than 476,000 in 2015, according to bbc.com.
Burson’s trip will end in Germany, but some students will go on to Jordan from July 3 to Aug. 11. The entire trip is $5,000.
The campus minister said the group has ministered in Hungary, Ethiopia, Taiwan, India and domestically as well.
“We try to keep our students as active and service minded as possible,” Bacus said.
— Michael Stavola is a staff writer at The Morning Sun. He can be emailed at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @MichaelStavola1.