Summer Mission Trip 2015: Being Christ to Others

Written by Lezanee Vela, member of Holy Cross Catholic Church Youth Group

I remember how happy I was to finally be going on the mission trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee. I was fortunate enough to have gone on last summer’s mission trip so I was looking forward to joining Holy Cross Catholic Church’s youth group this summer as well.

The bus ride was long and due to the traffic an eight hour drive turned into a twelve hour commute. Lucky for us teens, we were asleep 99% of the drive. But the moment we arrived at the school that would be our home for the next week, you could practically taste the excitement. You see, a mission trip isn’t only about a sleepy bus ride or the fact that you experience new places and people it’s about going out into the local community and helping people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to help themselves. A mission trip gives you the chance to be Christ in the world.

Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to explain every single detail of the mission trip so I’ll just share the part that really changed me as a person. On our last work site of the week, which was an elderly woman’s house, we were given the job to landscape the front of the house as well as the backyard.

Up to that point, my head really wasn’t in the game. But this last house gave me one more chance. I remember thinking that I couldn’t leave here without giving this woman every effort I had. I felt the Holy Spirit guide me to do my very best and I’d like to believe I did do my best.

The woman came out and shared with us her story of how people had stolen her gardening supplies so she had no way to do this job herself. Some of us teens went next door to borrow a lawnmower from her neighbor, later on we found out that the neighbor’s son had passed away. Those neighbors were Christ to us because even as a funeral car came with their son’s body, they still helped us just because they wanted to. I’ll never forget that.

This year’s mission trip taught me that life is not all about me or Holy Cross or Orlando, everything in life should be about helping others and dedicating yourself to being Christ in the world.

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