FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2009
Office of College Communications
WENHAM, MA—While many college students enjoy well-deserved rest from their studies during Christmas break, some Gordon College students choose instead to serve those in need. As part of an ongoing tradition during the holiday season, nearly 50 current students will travel this January to Mexico and to Guatemala on ministry-related trips.
From January 1–11, 2010, a team of 20 students from across academic disciplines along with two staff members will travel to Tijuana, Mexico, for Gordon’s 15th year. Mexico Outreach 2010—which will also include a spring break trip—will focus on working with an orphanage and local churches. The team will help with a vacation Bible school for local children as well as with construction work on church buildings and local homes.
“We wanted to build a continuing relationship with the community in Tijuana, so we’ve been very consistent with the sites we go to,” said Mark Stowell, assistant director of physical plant and staff advisor for the Mexico Outreach. “Even though the students might change, the community knows we’re Gordon College and Gordon College always comes back.”
The second trip—which will take place from December 28 to January 9—is World Focus, a mission group that gives Gordon students the opportunity to learn about ministry through the eyes of local church leaders in Latin America. This year, 23 students will travel with two staff advisors to Guatemala. Phil Williams, director of development operations, and Isaias Rivera, custodial services manager, will lead the team as they help with a construction project and work with the children of their host community. The World Focus trip has also been a recurring trip; this year marks the twenty-first.
“These trips expand the horizon of concern for our students as well as their level of self-knowledge and their understanding of God’s presence in their lives and work in the world,” said Laura Carmer, director of missions in the Chapel office. “The students bring their energy, enthusiasm and desire to serve and love others. They work with, and learn from, people who are already doing important work in their own contexts.”
Throughout the fall semester, students have been participating in a variety of fundraising events to help pay for the costs of the trips and materials for the partnering organizations. From Fair Trade coffee sales to student ‘survival kits,’ the teams commit to raising funds as well as participating in various training sessions before flying to their destination.
“It’s always good to go back. It’s like seeing old friends,” said Stowell. “I’ve watched some of the kids in the orphanage grow up. And it’s always exciting to see what happens in the lives of our students.”
For more information contact the Office of College Communications or visit the missions home page.