The First Presbyterian Church of Highland is sponsoring youth on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic from June 22- 29th. They will be travelling to Caraballo to work at Park School and Care Center, which serves local and Haitian children from impoverished communities. Rev. Dave Gibbs, the youth ministry sponsor, organized this mission trip through the organization Kids Alive International.
On Sunday June16ththe group was commissioned during worship by our pastor, Rev. Tyler Orem, to be the Heart, Hands, and Feet of Jesus Christ as they go to the Dominican Republic.
These nine youth and ten adults are going on the DR trip: Dave Bedka, Katy Bedka, Simon Cole, Jada Eshenaur, Abby Gibbs, Alisha Gibbs, Ben Gibbs, Rev. Dave Gibbs, Rev. Gretchen Gibbs, Grace Helmer, Phillip Manning, Sarah Manning, Kayla Polen, Mile Polen, Carley Ramirez, Brian Scott, Jenna Turpin, Sydney Wolfe, and Tim Wolfe.
Money for their trip was raised with an annual talent show and auction that took place at the church in early March and raised over $8000. Also, the youth got donations from family and friends.
During their week they will be helping build a fence around the school and doing other maintenance work and playing and working with the children in the orphanage in the afternoons. They are looking forward to meeting Angelica, a child who they sponsored the past year, and they are also taking clothing for the children at the orphanage.
In the past 15 years since Rev. Gibbs began his ministry, the youth group has gone on a mission trip each year. Past trips have included trips to Cincinnati, Ohio where they worked with children and West Virginia where they did building and repairing of homes.
The youth had this to say about their upcoming trip:
“I love to do mission work and it will be the experience of a lifetime.”
“I believe in giving back and doing things for others.”
“Doing this makes me a better person and more understanding of all kinds of people from all kinds of places.”
“I’m going to help others and not miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity. I want to make a positive difference in others’ lives as well.”
“I come back a completely different person with each mission trip I go on. I come back as someone positively impacted.”
“These trips also make me feel closer to God and positively affect my spirituality.”
Rev. Dave Gibbs, youth group pastor, had this to say about the coming mission trip:
“We go to help others, but we end up getting more out of it.”
“It is life-changing!”