PAA Sponsors Third Trip for Gulf Coast Relief

June 01, 2009 | Liesl Vistaunet

Portland Adventist Academy continued a three-year tradition by sending students to the Gulf coast of Mississippi for a Katrina relief mission trip this spring.

PAA worked again with His Hands and Feet Ministries, a nonprofit group of Adventist families with contracting experience in Bay St. Louis, Miss. Student missionaries were taught electrical wiring, siding, heating and cooling skills. Meanwhile, they watched and helped HHFM minister to the people living in unusual circumstances; some without things as basic as a chair or table but still so grateful for the roof over their heads.

While the small community of Bay St. Louis has drastically transformed in the past three years, it still has a long way to go. Volunteer camps, like HHFM along with Amish, Baptist, Catholic and other denominational volunteer camps have helped rebuild homes with the homeowners and thousands of volunteers from all over the United States.

PAA finished up the week of work by worshiping in the Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church with members who had their homes rebuilt by HHFM and PAA students in previous years.

Experiences like these continue to encourage PAA students to commit their lives to Jesus. Sara White, senior, says the experience helped confirm her decision to be a missionary and Becca Maher, sophomore, made the decision to be baptized. "The whole experience made me see how simple it is to help people and how it can really put a smile on someone's face," says Maher.