Hillcrest students share mission experience with local groups [UPDATED]Published 11:16am Thursday, February 7, 2013 Updated 11:17am Thursday, February 7, 2013
While most high school seniors were preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving and take a break from school last fall, students from Hillcrest Lutheran Academy in Fergus Falls were spending a week camping out and participating in cross-lingual street evangelism, offering food, music and the Gospel message to a Haitian refugee village.
For the past two weeks, the students and their chaperones have been sharing the mission experiences with community groups in Fergus Falls such as Rotary and Kiwanis.
“When we were down there we were able to do so many service opportunities,” said Taylor Filippini at a Kiwanis meeting last week. “Even little things like washing a little girl’s hair or clipping toe-nails, things we take for granted. These are God’s children.”
During the mission trip, the group got to travel to a Haitian refugee village in the sugar cane fields and joined up with another group to bring music and food to the Haitians, some still recovering from the devastating earthquakes in their homeland.
“It was cool because they were very open and welcoming to our group,” said student Kathleen Martinson. “They were very hospitable, a stark contrast to many Americans.”
The group visited a local school called El Brisol and participated in a community outreach to the surrounding area. Activities students helped with included putting new doors on the school and refurbishing a playground at a Compassion International facility.
Filippini was excited by the opportunity to satisfy all kinds of needs.
“It was cool to serve them not only physically but spiritually as well,” said Filippini. “We also got a lot of help from the kids.”
Students visited Hillcrest’s sister school, Santa Fe, bringing food, playing with the kids and talking with school leaders about the long-range goals for Sante Fe.
Hillcrest has been a supporting partner of the Sante Fe School since 2009, providing money to purchase land, build classrooms, pay teachers and buy furniture and supplies. Plans are currently being made for a water purification system that will serve the school and the surrounding community.
After a lot of hard work, the group was able to spend time enjoying the beach and shopping before heading back to winter in Fergus Falls.
The senior mission trip is a unique aspect of the Hillcrest experience, giving students an opportunity to engage in many practical mission ventures which are integrated directly into the classroom curriculum. For more information, contact Wayne Stender at Hillcrest Academy at 218-531-9697.