Trinity Church runs annual Mexico Mission

Kyle Alvarez, Advertising Editor

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Photo courtesy Hadley Johnson
For the missionaries, this trip not only gave them an opportunity to change someone else’s life, but to change theirs as well. Through the assistance from their families and a select group of personally selected sponsors the were able to change the lives of 17 families.

For the past 31 years, Trinity Lutheran Church has been hosting a Mexico Mission trip for any students grades 10-12. It has proved to be a great experience for the youth of the community. Every year, like clockwork, missionaries find themselves in Chuburna Puerto, Mexico.

This year, the missionaries along with their adult leaders, began their trip early. They left the Thursday before Spring Break at 3 a.m. for Dallas, Texas. They landed, refueled and flew to Cancun. Once in Cancun, the missionaries split up into two groups, each on their own coach bus, where they took a several hour long bus ride to the small fishing village of Chuburna Puerto, which lies near the Yucatan Peninsula.

“This was my second year going on the trip and each time it has been an eyeopening experience. To be able to actively make a difference in someone else’s life is a feeling we are not accustomed to here in Minnesota. The Mexico Mission Trip means helping others and being rewarded in experience and learning a lot about yourself, as well as being able to change peoples lives in the littlest ways,” said senior Erin Thiets.

The Mexico Mission Trip means helping others and being rewarded in experience and learning a lot about yourself, as well as being able to change peoples lives in the littlest ways.”

— Erin theits

For the missionaries, this trip not only gave them an opportunity to change someone else’s life, but to change theirs as well. Through the assistance from their families and a select group of personally selected sponsors the were able to change the lives of 17 families.

“To be able to alter the lives of so many people, without even knowing them is a feeling not everyone has the benefit to experience. To spend a whole week actively bettering yourself and the lives of others is unlike anything else. I would recommend that everyone go on the trip just to open themselves up to a whole new understanding of community worth,” said junior Jacob Rudenick.

Along with changing the lives of the adults of Chuburna Puerto, they changed the lives of the children in that small fishing village. Towards the end of the trip they hosted an activity day. All the kids from around the camp the missionaries stayed at were invited to come, play and participate in events ranging from water tattoos, to beading bracelets.

“The first year I went on the trip I had a great time, but I didn’t think that any of the families we helped would personally recognize me. I believed they only saw us as a group. So when I returned this year, I think the second day of the trip, I was playing soccer with some of the local kids and noticed one of the friends I made from last year and I was like, ‘Oh he probably doesn’t even remember me, so I should just play it casual.’ I said, ‘Hola,’ but he recognized my instantly and was like, ‘Erin! Erin!’ and he was just had a beaming smile and it just really impacted me, showing the influence we had on the lives of the people down there,” said Thiets.

The trip is not constant hard work and effort, the missionaries have a lot of free time after working. At the camp, there was always something to do. If you were not out working at a site, you could be back at camp playing volleyball or swimming. Not to mention every night there were large group activities and then a small group gathering afterwards.

“The trip has a lot of hard work involved in it, but it isn’t nearly as bad when you factor in all the free time we get. Even though we had four work days, we also had two free days. One day we went to Merida and went shopping and ate and the other day we had a get together of all the local kids where we did activities for the majority of the day. The other days that added up to the week we were down there were designated for travel to and from Mexico,” said junior Ellie McGinley.

The trip has continued to change lives throughout the years, not only the lives of the families they helped, but the families of the missionaries and adult leaders who participated as well. The church plans to continue hosting the trip for years to come and to stay an active member in the community here in Stillwater and down in Mexico.

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