After a Mission Trip hiatus, The Church at Highland Park is heading to The Valley this summer to resume our annual Intergenerational Mission Trip! We are so excited for this transformational opportunity. Here is everything you need to know to sign up, but if you have anymore questions or concerns, then please feel free to contact Rev. Masyn Evans-Clements at firstname.lastname@example.org.
But most importantly…
The cut-off date for sign up for the mission trip is June 1. This helps to estimate costs and plan the mission work we will be able to do while we’re there. Hold your spot with a $50 deposit!
When we say “Intergenerational Mission Trip”, we mean it!
There will be something for everyone to do, and somewhere for everyone to serve. Our assignments this year are very flexible; they will be decided after it has confirmed who is going, so we can make sure the projects we sign up to do are appropriate for the group we are taking!
Who: Pastor Jorge Zapata and Hearts4Kids
Where: Harlingen, TX working in the Colonias
When: July 6-10 working, and June 10-12 R&R
Cost: ~$225/person (based on 15 people–scholarships ARE available! Talk to Masyn!)
We will be going to work with Pastor Jorge Zapata in his ministry in The Colonias by the border. According to the Attorney General, The Colonias are “substandard housing developments, often found along the Texas-Mexico border, where residents lack basic services such as drinking water, sewage treatment, and paved roads.”
Pastor Zapata heads up Hearts4Kids, which is a ministry he started that works together with volunteers, teams and groups to provide basic needs and safety to families throughout the Rio Grande Valley. This includes construction work, general aid, and medical care.
As far as safety goes, we’ve spoken to Hearts4Kids and Pastor Jorge, and they say they have never had any safety concerns or issues in all the years they have been doing ministry in The Colonias. We have absolutely nothing to worry about on that front!
The “Mission” in “Mission Trip”
We have several options when it comes to what we would like to do while we’re there. Depending on how many people decide to go, we can split our group into teams of 5-7 to accomplish different kinds of tasks. Of these three options, some would be more suited to people needing to be inside with lighter work, and others more suited to those who really want to get their hands dirty.
- Light Construction Work
- We can paint the houses in The Colonias–these people live in extreme poverty. This is also an education opportunity for you to see the living conditions of some of our most vulnerable US residents.
- Another need is putting insulation in and hanging sheetrock in some of these houses.
- Community Center Near The Colonias
- There is a community center that works with kids. While some work with the kids, we can also hold a class for mothers–like arts and crafts.
- Some people can hang out with the kids, even do a sports camp or something, and then others can work with the mothers to hold a class of some sort.
- Bed Ministry
- Many of the kids in The Colonias have never had their own bed. They sleep on the couch, on a comforter on the floor, with their siblings or parents, etc. This ministry allows us to fund and build twin-sized beds in their warehouse to be delivered to households that desperately need them.
Lodging in the Valley
We will be staying at Valley Baptist Retreat Center. This is the most cost efficient ($18/per person/per night) choice, as well as the best choice geographically.
This is a dorm with bunk beds, where the men will share one room and the women will share another. Each dorm has 10 bunk beds (20 twin sized beds), showers, restrooms, and air conditioning (thank goodness!)
A Little Bit of R&R
After three full days of work, we’ll take a short break together! We will be staying in a lake house on Canyon Lake, near New Braunfels. It is a huge cabin with fishing, swimming, hiking, antiquing, and shopping nearby! The house has 6 bedrooms, 4 full baths, and 2 half baths. There is also a ton of communal space.
New Braunfels Excursion
On July 11th, we will have a full free day. A group will head to Schlitterbahn. Schlitterbahn will be an ADDITIONAL cost for your tickets, not included in the price! I know not everyone wants to go, so if you need a ticket, I will purchase those in advance based on who tells me they would like to go ($45-$50/ticket, unless 15 people end up going then we can get a group rate)
Based on the amount of cars we have, people can split up to go antiquing, float the river, shopping, whatever.