July 4- Twenty-two youth and adults from Pleasant Hill and Oakland Grand Advent churches returned from a life-changing mission trip to the Philippines.
Working primarily at an SDA-run orphanage, they also participated in a community clothing drive that served over 300 local families. Other projects included teaching basic dental skills to 800 local elementary students and leading VBS for 100 or more children. Other projects included finishing the construction of a wall around the orphanage campus and painting.
Mission trips are usually known for being gritty, different, and often uncomfortable. Trip co-leader Bonnie Gottke reported, “This energetic group was met with cold showers, sleeping under mosquito nets, and nearly 100% humidity. Regardless of the unfamiliar climes and other challenges, the young workers started each morning with worship and gave 110% effort all day.”
Norma Rilveria, sponsor and trip nurse, added, “My heart was full when our young people shared their daily reflections at our morning and evening devotionals.” The service, interaction, and sharing of God’s love certainly were felt by the group. By the trip’s end, eight kids that were on the mission trip and three children from the orphanage were baptized.
When asked how this trip impacted her life, Pleasant Hill Junior Betsy Carmona reflected, “It helped me grow my relationship with Christ, and I learned how to love a community within days. Although languages can be a barrier to communication, showing God’s love is the best way to communicate.”
Featured in Northern Lights, July 27, 2023