GHS students use summer to volunteer
To most students, the words sweat, labor and hard work bring feelings of anxiety. To some, they bring pride.
A select few students have chosen to give away their time and money to participate in mission trips that involve all three of these words. These trips allow students to serve those in need and gain invaluable life experiences.
“We were in an area that was very close to an Indian reservation in Montana,” senior Hannah Henderson said. “It was a very poor place. We did construction on a trailer home and ran a Vacation Bible School for the native kids.”
Henderson took a leadership position on her trip at the beginning of the summer.
“It was challenging for Collin Graber and I because we were the student leaders for the trip,” Henderson said. “We had to lead everything and organize all of our groups, but each group member made our job so much easier.
Senior Jonathan Graber also attended this trip to Montana.
“The entire trip was student-led and student-ran,” Graber said. “We planned it, brought food, taught lessons, and worked on the construction site. It was a great way to step up and lead others since everything was done by us. ”
Junior Nico Carlson spent a month in Ecuador serving multiple families this summer.
“I went through One Mission Society,” Carlson said. “Throughout the trip, I played guitar and sang for families and churches, as well as helping with construction. I began my trip in Guayaquil, Ecuador. I stayed with the Pazminos for a week. Then, the Ornellanas drove me to Pallatanga. I stayed on their campground helping with various tasks for a week. I went to Catamayo for about a week, then went to the jungle in Guayzimi for a few days. After that, I worked my way back to Guayaquill.”
One senior is eager to begin her upcoming mission trip to Kenya in January.
“I’m excited for the mission trip,” senior Alex Kincaid said. “We will be on a safari for three days. Then, we will be helping in schools for the children.”
These experiences allow for personal growth and the development of humble attitudes.
“I learned I need to be more appreciative of what I have,” Henderson said. “I learned to let all I have go to Christ. The kids there were so loving and found joy in everything, and they made me want to be like them.”
Carlson said he gained personal experience but also improved certain skills.
“I learned more guitar and carpentry skills,” Carlson said. “I also learned to lean on God when I was scared or unsure of what to do whether I was alone in an airport or getting off a bus in a place I’d never been with no one to help me.”
These students encourage others to join their efforts.
“I would definitely recommend a mission trip to anyone,” Henderson said. “Missions are just such a great opportunity to find yourself through service.”
Mission trips are not just for religious people. They are for anyone who wants to help.
“I would say that going on a mission trip is a great way to humble yourself and see how different people live,” Carlson said. “It’s a way to learn so many different things and push yourself past your comfort zone.”
“When you go on a mission trip, you’re there to help people,” Graber said. “It makes you feel good, and it can also be a lot of fun. It’s a great way to grow closer to the people you help and the team you’re on.”