Regional mission efforts have traditionally gone to Mexico, as well as hurricane relief.
Our youth and adults have gone to Mexico nine times in the last fifteen years and five times to the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Katrina, providing a mission of labor and love. Both of these efforts involve challenging physical labor as well as spiritually challenging experiences.
The youth mission trip April 12-19, 2010, was to the state of Campeche in the Yucatan peninsula area of Mexico. They worked with villagers in Tenabo to put a roof on a Presbyterian pastor's house. They also painted at the offices of the Presbytery of Campeche. The team members were Jim and Kathy Reichhart, Ken Reed, Eric Kendrew, John Langone, Brett Holberg, Mitesh Panwala, Collin Devlin, Emily Tinsley, Brynne Sturge, Sarah Riendeau, Zoë Garry and Logan Barnard. To see some stories from the trip, view the trip blog. Our prayers continue as the staffs there work to grow the church in this area of Mexico, which is very beautiful and sees much less drug violence than the northern border area we visited in the past.
The mid high youth traveled to the Promised Land Retreat Center for a combined work/retreat weekend on June 11-13, 2010.They constructed picnic tables, stacked wood, and did other miscellaneous projects to spruce up the center for the summer season. Rev. Jane Wagner, the center's director also provided a retreat program.
In 2009 we expanded our regional efforts to include our own. We worked for five days in Heuvelton, New York, remodeling a farmhouse by replacing flooring, kitchen cabinets, doors and bookshelves. In 2010 we worked on 5 houses on Hamilton Street right in Watertown painting, installing siding, building a deck, and total renovation of a kitchen and 2 bathrooms. In 2011 we worked on 2 more homes, painting, installing sheet rock.
In April 2011 the senior high youth group returned to New Orleans, joining forces with Operation Southern Comfort to remove and then build 2 fences and a sidewalk and install sheetrock. The team members were Amber Roy, Ken Reed, Kim Collins, John Stirling, Jeremy, Cassandra Elmer, Megan Donato, Alicia Gayken, Taylor Sinclair, Ethan Garry, Eric Green, Skylar Green, Zac Whitenack. In December 2011 we traveled to Tenessee to the Sunset Gap Center and helped construct the foundation for a new house for a child who had been attacked by a pit bull. Trip participants were Amber Roy, Jack Donato, Mitch Farney, Megan Donato Alicia Gayken, Taylor Sinclair, Eric Green, Stephanie Green, Madeleine Clark.
In July 2014, we resumed trips to northern Mexico with Amor Ministries to build a home in 4 days for a needy family. Trip participants were Donna Dunkle, Ken Reed, Josh, Ethan and David Garry, Cassandra and Melissa Elmer, Joey Sinclair, Yanna Hiotis, and Caitlin Archibald. We returned again in July 2015 and 2016.