In early spring, Jill and I were talking with the kids about summer plans – vacations or camps. Ingrid said, “I want to do something meaningful.” She went on to say that she would like to volunteer at our local Urban Mission or possibly go on a mission trip. My initial thought was “Who are you and what have you done with Ingrid”, but I realized that she has grown into her own spiritually and as a purposeful young woman. I was then approached by a leader in my church who asked if Ingrid would be interested in the Youth Pilgrimage. Jill and I saw this as a wonderful opportunity for her to gain this experience, education, and blessing by serving and being served at the church in El Salvador with other teens of Central New York.
All are called to give of our wealth; some are called to go. As good as videos and photos are, one cannot get a sense of our sisters’ and brothers’ lives without being in the churches, kitchens and fields, feeling the heat, smelling the pollution and walking in the dirt. As good as books are, one cannot get a sense of their history without standing behind the altar where their archbishop was shot or standing in front of the Wall of Remembrance with thirty thousand names of those adults and children who died or disappeared in the civil war. And the joy of helping a child paint a T -shirt – perhaps the first new shirt in several years – cannot be described.
The goal of this trip for Ingrid:
· Become a youth leader in the Vacation Bible School through teaching, craft projects, and music with the children of the El Salvadorian Church.
· Build relationships with area Christians, other people of faith, and with each other.
· Serve with members of the local community to meet local needs
· Learn about the work and witness of local faith communities , Experience another context in which the Christian faith is practiced · Worship with local congregations.
The goal of this trip for Thom:
· Support the Leader of the trip as another chaperone.
· Provide Emotional/Therapeutic Support for the group.
· Minister to the teens of CNY and the El Salvador Church.
· Build relationships with the El Salvadorian Church.
- Shirley Tuttle Malone
- Nicole Walberg
- Karen Simpson
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