St. Paul's Youth bring the Love of Christ to Reynosaby John Donovan
June 25, 2004
First-hand experience in a third-world country - that's what youth at St. Paul's are getting this summer, and they're bringing the love of God with them.
Destination: Reynosa, Mexico. Mission: Bringing the Gospel of Christ to the people there through vacation Bible school, construction of a church and orphanage, and local evangelism. Joining the group of 17 students from 8th to 12th grade are Shelli and Tom Hendrican (Shelli being a registered nurse), Dan Morgan, Joann Cerretani, Michael Rennier, Jeff Newton, and two college-age students, Lisa Trojanowski and Noel Thomas.
Probably the most remarkable aspect of the trip is that it includes activities but no real agenda. In other words, this isn't a matter of thinking through a plan and then imposing that on the Mexicans they'll encounter. It's a matter of learning how to listen to God better, seeing Christ in everyone they meet, and acting in accordance with what they see God doing in each situation as it comes along.
The training manual of Adventures in Mission, the group sponsoring the trip, "Are the people we'll meet simply our projects to practice on? Absolutely not! They're people to be loved. This mission isn't about reciting an evangelism outline or perfecting a vacation-Bible-school curriculum; it's about learning to love."
Among the experiences will prayer walking, which is defined in the manual as "praying on site with insight." It is focusing prayer on a specific area to break evil strongholds and thaw the ice.
Member of the parish contributed to the mission trip by purchasing shares of St. Paul's "Yoots" Class AA Common Stock. In the words of the splashy stock certificates, "The holder of this certificate is eligible for and will be invited to a shareholders banquet that will distribute their dividend by presenting to them the product of their investment."
The youth on the Reynosa mission include Emily Bair, Chrissy Brennan, Sarah Bruno, Willie Bruno, Evan Donahue, Ben Hutton, Caroline Kelly, Ben Knudsen, Megan Lisman, Sarah Maddox, Savanna Mirabile, Josiah Miller, Susannah Miller, Robbie Reeder, Robin Sykes-Nichols, Ciara Taylor-Brown, and Trevor Williams. In addition, they'll be joined by four students from St. Mary's, Ossining, N.Y., a group led by Alex Leighton.
You can view pictures and Fr. Dan's travel log from the trip here.