Fourteen young people from Kalona’s Full Gospel Revival Church recently returned from a mission trip to Trinidad. They are Courtney Richardson, Kalona; Rachel Losh, Montezuma; Jeremy Gugel, Kalona; …
Fourteen young people from Kalona’s Full Gospel Revival Church recently returned from a mission trip to Trinidad. They are Courtney Richardson, Kalona; Rachel Losh, Montezuma; Jeremy Gugel, Kalona; Joey Helmuth, Kalona; Charity Gerard, Montezuma; Lisa Gugel, Kalona; Jade Stoutner, Washington; Marcille Yoder, Kalona; Aroea Borntreger, Oxford; Candace Richardson, Kalona; and Rohanna Borntreger, Oxford. Jeremy and Lisa Gugel are youth leaders in the church. The group, which left Kalona June 7 and returned June 18, rented the Maxitaxi to use during their stay in Trinidad.
When the opportunity to spend 11 days in Trinidad was made available to several young people from Full Gospel Revival Church in Kalona, they jumped at the chance. Knowing this to be a working trip didn’t deflate their enthusiasm. They met the service requirements needed to qualify for the trip by baby-sitting, cleaning houses and in other ways. They also had to raise $1,000 each to finance the trip.
This last proved to be the greatest challenge for the group. When, the night before they were to leave they were still $2,000 short of their goal, an offering was taken up during church services. Through the generosity of the congregation, they ended up with money to spare.
Shirley Helmuth, who accompanied the youth on the trip, emphasized that this was not a vacation. All but two days of the trip were spent visiting classrooms in Trinidad’s equivalent to American high schools, sharing testimonies through skits, music and recounting personal experiences. The group visited about 15 schools during the days and several churches in the evenings.
The group stayed in a rented house while they were in Trinidad, sleeping on the floor using bedding they brought with them from home. While the house was reasonably comfortable, it had no furniture or hot water, and wasn’t quite what they were used to.
Their daytime activities more than made up for any discomfort they experienced in their lodging.
“It was exciting for them to walk into schools and share Jesus and their belief in God,” Helmuth said. In many schools, they met with students in classrooms. However, in a few of the schools assembly rooms had been prepared, allowing space for anyone to attend.
A highlight of the trip was a visit to a Christian radio station when they were given a half-hour of airtime to spread their message.
It wasn’t hard for them to decide what to do with the extra money they had gotten through the last-minute collection taken the night before they left Kalona. It was donated to a shelter for homeless children run by two women, one of whom is more than 80 years old. The shelter, which opened May 1, is located in a house that they may use, free of charge, through the end of the year. It is home to 14 kids, from 5 ñ 14 years old.
The day before their scheduled return to Kalona, Helmuth arranged for the group to spend the day on a neighboring island, swimming and relaxing. As much fun as that was, Helmuth felt they would rather have been back in Trinidad, visiting more schools, touching more lives.