2007 Spring Break Mission Trip

Costa Rica 

Spring Break Mission TripA group of students from McKendree College embarked on a mission trip to the country of Costa Rica from March 9 – 18, 2007.   It was an adventure for all of the individuals who attended and a very meaningful way to spend Spring Break away from college studies.   Many of these individuals had not been on a mission trip before; and some had never been out of the United States.   We have been committed and preparing for the trip since November 2006.   We prepared for the trip in many ways.   We learned some Spanish words and phrases, with the help of our international student who went on the trip, and learned songs in Spanish that we were able to sing to the children that we met and worked with.   With the help of several church members, we had a Spaghetti Dinner at the Lebanon United Methodist Church to raise money for the trip.  We stayed at the UBL Seminary in San Jose, Costa Rica. While there, we visited churches in the area, painted and did small repairs on some of the houses, worked with the children at the church, and learned what we can do to help save the environment. A couple of seminary professors led a tour of the Rain Forest and offering discussion on our stewardship of the earth’s resources. We also had a chance to explore a Volcano and a Banana Plantation just outside of the capital city.

A mission is a statement of purpose, so a mission trip then is a trip with a specifically stated purpose. Our mission trip includes the purpose of helping others, sharing our faith and beliefs with others, and making a positive difference in Costa Rica. There are many hopes and dreams that I have had about my faith, but I had never thought of leaving the country to further my faith. I have always been active in my local church at home in St. Louis, and when I came to McKendree I became involved with Campus Ministries. I always thought that what I was doing was enough for me. Earlier this year though something inside me said you should do more. I felt that God was calling me to be a part of something bigger. When I read an email about the Costa Rica Mission Trip, I realized that it was the something that I was searching for. I have never been on a mission trip before, so I do not really know what to expect. The feelings that I have, as the trip grows nearer, are unexplainable. I am very excited that I will be giving of my talents and helping others. Along with the excitement, there is also nervous anticipation because we will be going to an area of the world that I know very little about. On this trip I hope to be able to make a difference in the lives of those who need help in whatever way I can. I pray that others will see how God has worked in my life, and that I can show and spread God’s love to others. I think that this experience will be a blessing in my life. I feel that seeing how others are affected by our help will help me realize what I need to do to help people in my life, those people I know and do not know. This trip hopefully will make me more aware of situations in other countries and what I can do continuously to support people of other countries. 

~ Beth Newman

Front Row Left to Right:  Beth Newman, Jared Evans, Catherine Hamrick, Andres Marquez, Adam Schwind, Megan Barker, Beth Schwiejohn, and Danielle Charles (McKendree Catholic Campus Minister).

Back Row Left to Right:  Tim Harrison (McKendree Chaplain), Josh Pullen, Amber Ramos, Rob Dillingham, Jared Winters, Stacie Banjavcic, and Kelly Knauer.