Homeland Mission Trip Impacts PSAA Students
Does a homeland mission trip make the same difference as an international mission trip? Twenty-one students from Puget Sound Adventist Academy (PSAA) in Kirkland say, “Yes!”
The group of PSAA students spent six days in Portland, Ore., for their homeland mission trip, where they volunteered at Portland Adventist Community Services (PACS). The mission project could be summed up in three words: pray, serve and play.
Throughout the activities, students desired to make prayer a lifestyle and to follow the advice of 1 Thess. 5:17 to “pray without ceasing.” Students frequently prayed together and prayed with people they met in Portland.
Students provided service to PACS through washing the floor beneath all the food bank shelves, spreading bark dust around plant beds, and painting curbs, gutters and storage bins.
“There’s something different about your students — a good different,” said one of the PACS supervisors. “They are really working hard on these projects for us.”
Students also observed the hundreds of people that PACS serves daily through food donations, health care and a thrift store.
One gentleman, while waiting for his food, engaged in a comedy-filled conversation with students that got everyone laughing. Their memorable and heartfelt prayer together made the students feel like they were in the presence of God.
Mixed in with the hard work, students also had time to play. They enjoyed conversations with people from Lents Church, which served as the mission trip's home base, and seeing the natural beauty of Multnomah Falls and the Columbia River Gorge.
During one of the afternoon activities, PSAA students played bocce (lawn bowling) in downtown Portland. They invited a nearby homeless lady to join the game. She accepted the invitation and ended up playing with the students for an hour.
Though the mission trip was not far from home, PSAA students found it worthwhile as they met people, from all sorts of backgrounds, who exemplified grace and experienced a time of bonding and memory-making as a student team.