This article is from the October 2012 issue of The Call. Read the rest of the issue and get your free subscription at www.wgm.org/call.
Each year, students around the United States wait anxiously for the arrival of spring break. Most students can’t wait to hit the beaches in Florida; California; or Cancun, Mexico. But, for a few students at Mississinewa High School in Gas City, Indiana, spring break means spending the week in Honduras, working and building relationships with the students of AFE (a school for the children whose parents live and work in the city dump of Tegucigalpa). The team works hard under the hot Honduran sun and usually ends the week with some super “farmer’s tans.”
This annual trip began when Katelyn Simpson decided that there had to be more to spring break than perfect suntans and parties. Today, students are begging to go, and the waiting list is two years long. Why are so many public school students willing to go help others on their vacation?
Maddie Eaton has been on two trips and is ready to return next year. Maddie says the reason she wants to keep returning is the kids at AFE. “These kids bring a smile to my face and warmth to my heart the moment I arrive and get my first hug,” says Maddie. Last spring, Maddie was able to share her experiences of AFE with her father, who went along as a chaperone. “I was never able to explain to my dad what AFE meant to me with just words, but with him being there, he knows and words are no longer needed,” she explained.
Student Darion Burton also experienced the life-changing effect of this missions trip. “I look at life totally different now. Before, I never thought much about the difference between wants and needs, and now I find myself asking if I really need things or could I do without and help others instead,” said Darion. Her favorite part of the trip was “returning for my second visit. After being away for two years, I could not believe the changes in both the school and the kids.”
Maddie and Darion will always have fond memories of the work they accomplished in Honduras, but for both of them, the relationships they forged will stay in their hearts forever. I guess for these students, the “farmer’s tan” is better than the “perfect tan,” at least for one week of the year.
Get your local high school involved in missions. Grab a few chaperones and students and plan your next spring break at www.gowgm.org/teams.