A Tale of Two Missions

For spring break this year Columbia Adventist Academy (CAA) in Battle Ground, Washington, decided to “divide and conquer” sending students on two different mission trips.

One group of 23 students and seven adult sponsors went to the Dominican Republic as part of a Maranatha multigroup project to build two One-Day churches. They also found it rewarding to paint two churches, one having been constructed just prior to their arrival. Community outreach included a student-led Vacation Bible School program with music, Bible stories, skits, games and crafts. The group offered free medical and dental clinics where students helped by greeting patients, taking blood pressures, distributing medication and extracting teeth. The final Sabbath was spent worshipping with their Dominican hosts in the newly built structures.

The second group of five students, three alumni and eight adults, headed for El Salvador to love kids at the International Children’s Care orphanage in San Juan Opico. They did this by spending time with them and improving their living conditions by continuing work on a wall surrounding the campus, painting an office, fixing the campus water tank, rebuilding a bridge and installing door knobs in the houses. 

Having not seen much of the sun prior to leaving the Northwets (pun intended), culture shock was not the major concern as the more than 20 hours of travel time toward the equator brought travelers toward average temperatures in the 90s with a matching humidity.

Abbey Ashton, CAA junior class president, summed up the two missions by saying, “God is the reason for this trip, and He is responsible for the opportunity to serve others and the blessed hearts we all returned with. I have never felt more in sync with God and in His arms. This indescribable love made us feel like we wanted nothing more than to love, and be loved by, the people we now call family. I believe we were all experiencing a piece of heaven. It was an amazing feeling to know I was where God wanted me to be. The hardest thing I’ve ever done was say ‘goodbye.’”

These missions would not have been possible without many other individuals from schools, churches and families across the United States with willing and eager hearts ready to serve God and the Dominican and Salvadoran people. We pray that these churches and their congregations stand strong until Jesus comes, when we look forward to worshipping with them again. We pray that the orphanage and its children come to know Jesus too, and we look forward to seeing all these kids in heaven, where they will be reunited with their moms, dads and their heavenly Father. And in that vision, our two missions are united.

Abbey Ashton, CAA junior and El Salvador mission trip participant, and Marcy Perry, CAA parent and Dominican Republic mission trip participant.

June 23, 2014 / Oregon Conference