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Mission trips serve impoverished

Battling the elements of poverty, mud and exhaustion, teens gave up their Easter vacation to break out of their normal environments and serve the less fortunate.

Despite the warnings about few or no showers and hard work, many teens commit to spending a week in Mexico helping churches, orphanages and the community in general.

?It rained almost every night and our tent flooded, so everything was wet and mud got everywhere,? Karen Tolladay, ?05, said. ?This one girl tried to shave her legs, but she was so cold and it was dark so she ended up shaving off the goose-bumps and there was blood everywhere.?

Some students would question the sanitation practices in Mexico, with all the loose trash and pollution.

?While I was there I saw three dogs on the side of the road eating another dog,? Jeremy Ramos, ?07, said.

Some would also be deterred by the means of which sewage is taken care of in the cities.

?The grossest thing was walking on poo and over rivers of sewage,? Erin Elmore, ?06, said. ?When I got home I Cloroxed my shoes like crazy.?

Notwithstanding all the unpleasantness, teens were willing to give their week to serve the people of Mexico.

?A group of about 150 people [from my church] went down to Tijuana,? Ramos said. ?We went down to do VBS [vacation bible school] for the kids and they brought their families.?

Despite the language barrier, kids found that when it came to worship, cultural lines did not matter.

?They [Mexican people] worship so passionately,? Elmore said. ?I realized during this trip that, even though they worship in a different language, God loves them the same and understands them.?

Along with worshiping with the people, church groups went down to do service projects.

?For a lot of the time, we were mixing concrete to make a sidewalk for the orphanage we were helping out,? Elmore said. ?We had to mix the sand with the gravel and then add water. It was hard work, but fun.?

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