Articles Written by Craig Wallace (’17) and Andrea Goodman (’17)
Craig Wallace: This past summer, I went on one of the most memorable trips of my life which was a mission trip to Novillero, Guatemala. This trip is a part of a project that is run by St. Raymond’s Church in East Rockaway which is called Proyecto Don Bosco. This project sponsors children in Novillero and Santa Lucia in Guatemala, as well as sends supplies and money to the communities as well, I actually sponsor a kid down there starting just prior to the trip because I wanted to do whatever I could to help. We spent 10 days living in Novillero in the same conditions they did and it was a very powerful life-changing experience. It was a big eye opener to see how they live and what they do on a day to day basis and it was the best trip of my life by far. I felt great satisfaction seeing the locals react to our presence because they all know us because the project is well known in those communities and they know how much we care and help, as well seeing my sponsored kid who I got to spend a lot of time with while I was there and I can’t wait to go back next year, and I encourage everybody to look into it because I can honestly say this was the best experience of my life.
Andrea Goodman: How does one encounter God? Well there are many ways. As for me I encountered God through his people. On the night of our third day in Guatemala we read an article during prayer time that asked if we considered the people we met as Guatemalans or as people just like us. The question really hit me knowing that all the people we were meeting, through a different culture, have the same needs and values that we have back home. You hear it all the time that we are made in the image and likeness of God. Well I can tell you that I have witnessed this to the fullest. I felt a closeness with the people we met. Before coming down I dreamed about being surrounded by a group of children wanting a hug from me. As the week went by and the trip was coming to an end I did not think that it would really happen. God however would not let me down. On day eight my dream came true. I couldn’t believe it was real. We went to a school where the kids put on a show for us. After the show we went outside to the schoolyard where the kids wanted to run with me. When I got tired and fell to the ground the kids tumbled on top of me. I forced myself up and grabbed as many of the kids as I could. When it was time to go, the kids followed us to the gate and I thought of my dream and how God fulfilled it. I said, “Thank You God.” The moment felt so surreal. There was not doubt in my mind that God did this for me. They had touched my heart. I can definitely say that from my dream that had turned to reality, I had encountered God in His Children. God has truly blessed me.