Mission Trips Introduce Students to Service

June 18, 2016 | Heidi Baumgartner

In addition to bettering a community, mission trips are about training a new generation in a life of service and generosity. Three academy mission trips originating in western Washington allowed students and staff to participate in specific projects far and near.

“During the Philippines mission trip in March 2016, part of our mission was to provide dental services,” says Michael Harlow, Orcas Christian School senior. “The people we visited were in a remote area in the mountains and had no access to dentistry.”

Orcas students worked, among other mission trip activities, as dental assistants to help a professional dentist extract teeth and provide oral hygiene training.

“We provided them with toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss to help the people understand the need for oral hygiene and equip them with the tools necessary to start doing it,” Harlow says.

Students from Skagit Adventist Academy (SAA) in Burlington participated in a homeland mission trip to an Indian reservation in Plummer, Idaho. While in Idaho, SAA students helped finish building a church that had been under construction for many years. They helped haul and put up drywall, moved gravel for a concrete floor, built raised garden beds, peeled and scraped logs, and held a Vacation Bible School and basketball clinic for kids at the local tribal center.

Junior student Travis Stanger liked seeing the lives of his young friends changed through the interactions with the group. "I was able to see how others lived and be able to help them see Jesus’ love through our group and be an answer to prayer," he says. "That’s really what it’s all about."

Forty Auburn Adventist Academy (AAA) students along with adult sponsors joined the annual In His Service Amianan mission trip to the Philippines. AAA students worked alongside medical doctors and dentists to provide patient care. They presented VBS programs and helped with local construction work.

“The humidity was something I instantly loved as soon as I got off the plane,” says McKenna Butler, a sophomore. “I came to enjoy the simple lifestyle with ship-showers, open windows and hang-dry laundry. The kids loved us, and doing VBS was so much fun. The kids were so sweet and so happy to see us. I can’t wait to see them again next year.”