Members of the youth group at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Victoria left in late July for a long-anticipated short term mission. Youth leader Suzy Cleaver wrote the following a few days before she and the others left.
Last year, while attending Creation Fest in Washington State, we were so excited and full of energy on the way home.
I thought: “We should put all of this excitement to good use.” Hence, the idea of a mission trip was born.
Now, one year later, we are heading back to Creation Fest with real enthusiasm. Not only are we looking forward to all the great speakers and music, but we are looking forward to what follows.
One of the groups which presented information at Creation Fest last year was Compassion Canada.
Our youth were really impacted by the information, and became very concerned about the poverty which children and youth face in other countries – where getting help is very difficult. They decided to sponsor a child, as a group.
This year, they wanted the opportunity to see poverty first-hand. They also wanted to do something tangible, which would make a difference in a few lives – whether that might be simply helping with regular chores, running a kids’ camp, painting or repairing buildings.
We started looking at many organizations, including local Canadian ones. A friend, who had travelled to an orphanage in Mexico, suggested that we go to the same place.
After looking into it, we decided that we would head down to Foundations For His Ministry, – a California-based group which helps poor Mexican children.
We started fundraising, utilizing full course dinner events, car washes, garage sales, bottle drives and more. Altogether, the kids raised more than $5,000 to cover the cost of airplane tickets, bus fares, living expenses and gifts.
Our church has been so supportive of the young people, and their reasons for going. They understand that if youth are to develop into caring, compassionate people involved in the world community, they need to gain the insight and perspective which comes from experiencing things firsthand. It’s hard to get that out of a book.
The congregation has stood behind us all the way, and cheered us on. We look forward to returning in August with stories and pictures to share; and we hope to develop an ongoing project at the orphanage.