Six Mountain View Christian Academy students are serving others in need in Ecuador with Samaritan’s Purse later this month.
The Grade 8-12 students, along with a teacher and chaperone, are taking the 11 day trip as part of schoolwork, says Spanish teacher and missions coordinator Tamara Ewald.
“We go every other year. The school is committed to broadening the kids’ world view and they do it through service overseas in other countries,” she said. “They are able to use their Spanish and see needs on different levels than they’re used to.”
Students can go more than once if they are willing to do the fundraising required – two students in this group have gone before, she added.
It costs $3,500 per student, and fundraisers include raffling pies, selling flowers, selling chocolates, selling plants, and doing yardwork.
Once in Ecuador, they will be working with Pan de Vida, serving food in a program that helps people in extreme poverty in the capital city of Quito.
Students will also go to the coast and distribute supplies and kits for people devastated by the earthquake in 2016 and they may do some reconstruction, said Ewald.
Students that have gone previously see the trip as life changing and graduates have said that the trip inspired them, she added.
It has really made a huge difference in the lives of the kids reaching out beyond their borders and their capabilities and seeing that God can use them in all capacities if they just put their trust in him and are obedient, she said.
The group will take time out for a day of sightseeing and will possibly be camping on the beach on the coast when there.
“It’s good for the kids to see that a smile can go a long way and people can choose happiness and joy despite their circumstances,” she said.
“Smiles and kindness close the gap between so many people and generations.”
The students will be away from Jan. 27 to Feb. 6.