Students Spend Spring Break in Honduras Performing Missionary WorkMarch 31, 2009
Associate Dean of Student Life, Miss Tambi Spitz, and twelve students took advantage of Christendom College's Spring Break and traveled to Honduras to perform missionary work through an organization called Mission Honduras from March 6-14.
"I knew that the mission work would be fruitful in many ways," says Spitz. "I could foresee the many blessings I would experience, but I could never have prepared for the multiple levels in which this trip would affect me."
Throughout the week, the missionaries worked to support Mission Honduras' educational system. The founder, a Franciscan priest named Fr. Emil, believes the best way to free the Hondurans from their poverty is through education. With that in mind, he started several schools in the Honduras which educated children from elementary grades and now even through some college.
He also started the "Mother's Project" which serves mothers with children who have been abandoned or abused. Missionaries who visit Mission Honduras support this school system and the Mother's Project with a variety of tasks ranging from doing repairs, small building projects, some teaching assistance, and playing and caring for the children when they complete their school day.
"Our first project was to paint houses in the Mother's Project which is just a few hundred yards from where we stayed in the mission volunteer center," Spitz explains. "I was apprehensive at first, but very excited. I remember contemplating the entire experience to come as I walked over to the Mother's Project. For me, this wasn't just any mission trip, but a trip with Christendom College students – a trip and an encounter with students like I had never experienced before."
"It was so refreshing to see children who were not tainted by a materialist society," recalls Senior Ali Schuberg. "Although they had next to nothing, their happiness and peacefulness was truly touching. I firmly believe that you take away just as much as you give on mission trips. We all had a renewed sense of appreciation for all that we are given in our lives."
In all of the projects they did, they found the interaction with the children and the people to be the most rewarding. In spite of the severe poverty they witnessed, the Christendom missionaries couldn't help but to think that the children's lives in many ways were so much fuller than theirs. "I remember noticing joy in the children almost always," says Spitz.
Although it was fairly modest, the presence of a chapel enabled them to have a Communion service every morning at seven, and liturgy of the hours every morning and evening.
"This was a vital part of the mission trip as prayer is just as important – if not more – than action," says Schuberg.
"We arrived back in America disappointed to have to start school again," says Senior Matt Hadro. "Yet we knew that the experiences we received from this mission trip, the work we did, the people we met, our silent time – it all paid off. Hopefully this experience will stay with us for the rest of our lives, even as we finish up school and make our way into the real world."
"At the end of the day, I account my experience as a mission, retreat, cultural, and authentic Christendom experience all wrapped into one. I am so truly thankful for this opportunity. I feel privileged to have experienced Christendom at its finest," says Spitz.
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