Youth Forward Scholarship 2018 – My Experience in a Missionary Trip

Name: Olivia Begg
From: Stamford, CT
Grade: 12th grade
School: King School
Votes: 0

My
family and I attend Grace Community Church in New Canaan, CT.  Every
year the church recruits volunteers from the congregation to go on a
missionary trip to Tijuana Mexico for one week to build homes for
impoverished people that live close to the border of San Diego
California. My dad, brother and I signed up to go on the trip,
leaving August 2015. The church was able to raise funds by sponsoring
events such as bake and tag sales and even donations from
organizations to fund the trip to Tijuana.  Each volunteer was
required to pay $100 which went towards their airfare from New York
to California.

The
people who went on the trip were mostly teenagers and adults. There
were four designated drivers who were required to drive the
volunteers across the border to the missionary building and to
various places such as the construction sites, restaurants, an
orphanage and a dump for the duration of the trip.  


 The
trip to Tijuana was an amazing experience for all the volunteers. We
learned to live in close quarters and as a community. Males and
females were divided and we slept in three-layer bunk beds at the
missionary that was run by a Christian couple who were retired
missionaries. Every morning we woke up at 6 and did devotion. There
was another group of volunteers at the missionary from Canada and
some of them gave testimonies about their calling to become
missionaries which allowed them to travel around the world. They
really inspired a lot of volunteers to think about becoming
missionaries.  One missionary shared his experience in going to
Papua New Guinea and spreading the word of God to indigenous tribes
that were still cannibals.

The
trip benefitted the volunteers as they learned to live together as a
community with a common goal of working together to help people who
were disadvantaged.  We would load trucks with construction
supplies, the evening before the workday, then jump in the vans and
go to a local restaurant for some authentic Mexican food.  The
following morning after devotion and breakfast we would go to the
construction sites, unload the supplies and perform carpentry at the
instruction of a leader who taught us to work as a team in
constructing mini-houses. It was difficult to maintain my stamina
throughout the day because of the heat and the amount of physical
work we had to do. However it was a fun and rewarding experience to
see how the families appreciated our efforts by cooking delicious
lunches for us.

The
trip to the orphanage was touching. We donated clothes, toys, and
various supplies and even played games and soccer with them. I felt
satisfied knowing that we were able to make the orphans happy. We
also gave donations to people who lived in shacks at a local dump and
brought them gallons of water. The trip was a humbling experience for
all the volunteers because it made us appreciate what we have in
America.


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