Students Reflect on Mission Trips

Provided by Brooke Estes
Junior Brooke Estes, her youth group and a few adults sing the song “Kind of My Heart” for the pastor’s church in Catarina, Nicaragua. The pastor and his wife were the hosts of the event.

Brady Blaylock, Video Editor

The sun blazes down on their backs. Their sweat and burning muscles are all they can focus on. Working together to place the supporting beams up, they yell out. It may be hard work, but it is worth it. They watch in awe as the one structure they have built brings smiles and joy to those who are less fortunate than them.

One of the mission trips junior Lauren Knox went on was in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria had hit the country, which left many houses without roofs. The team she went with rebuilt roofs on houses due to the water damage.

“These experiences really opened my eyes because I saw what it was like to not even have a front door,” Knox said. “I feel like I gave them a sense of hope by letting them know there are people out there in the world that care and are willing to help.”

Junior Carlin Root took a trip to Uganda a few years ago alongside a nonprofit organization known as Parental Care Ministries, where they spread love and helped the people have access to clean water, sustainable farmland and in the building of schools. They also provided the kids there with shoes.

“This is an experience I feel like everybody needs to experience at some point in their life,” Root said. “Seeing how a different place works really changed my perspective on things.” 

Seeing how a different place works really changed my perspective on things.”

— Carlin Root

Senior Emma Grace Cox has taken a trip to Guatemala four times alongside a group called Orphan Outreach hosted by the 89.5 KVNE radio station. They raise money beforehand to collect products that can be used with clean-air stoves, that they build for houses in communities who do not have the ability to cook in a safe environment due to many open fires.

“I really enjoy being able to see their everyday life because of how happy I am to have helped them,” Cox said. “Even though there is a language barrier, I can see the happiness of the people I am with through their smiles despite the hardships they go through.”

Freshman Christiana Ussery has gone to Honduras where they handed out food bags, clothes and more to people with a translator. The team had built a church the year before she went, so they were able to experience the trip in a new church.

“It was pretty scary thinking that I was not going to be in the same country I am so used to being in,” Ussery said. I really would like to go on another mission trip someday because it helped me understand a lot of things that I never thought I would.”

Junior Brooke Estes has gone on four mission trips to Nicaragua to do medical missions, construction, and anything that helps the community. They took care of the people in the country and taught them the word of God.

“Getting in the community and being able to see the same kids each year grow from each time I see them is amazing to me,” Estes said. “It’s really cool to see how these kids can recognize you and I enjoy seeing the benefits they get out of it.”