Over winter break 6 students and one leader gave up their break to go down to Uruguay to serve. They left on December 30 and flew down until January 14.
They greeted everyone in a whirlwind with cheek kisses when they were picked up by GMI missionary Ricki Anne and friends. Ricki Anne, Shaggy, Gusty, Alex, and Alexis were a few among the many involved in the church who went to pick them up.
They had a day of rest and then went over to a New Year’s Eve party that was a trip highlight for many of the students.
“The second midnight hit fireworks went out all around us. They exploded in every direction in loud booms and blasts of light for at least 20 minutes straight. Everyone ran around kissing everyone’s cheek exclaiming “Feliz ano neuvo!!!” (Happy new year!)
It was an experience that none of us will ever forget. After the fireworks, we had dessert and played games. We didn’t leave until about 3am. Even the grandma and grandpa didn’t leave until 2am which is a cultural norm none of us was quite used to. Each of us learned a lot on just the first day.”
The team worked in the back of the church building to help dig out the foundation for new additions. Before each day of work, they started by doing daily devotions to stay motivated and encouraged. When they arrived and looked at the back yard it was a massive pile of rocks, clay, mud, dirt, sand and holes. Some of the first jobs were to move the piles of sand to make a path to the large dumpster for the already demolished building pieces and the rocky insides of the holes. They still managed to have fun while doing such demanding physical work. Every day for two weeks they worked with digging and moving piles of dirt and rubble.
On top of all the manual labor they did, two workshops were held for photography and guitar. Members of the church were invited to come and learn more about each topic. Everyone who attended loved learning more from the teachers Lisse (photography) and Mike (guitar).
The workshops also stretched the leaders by teaching them how to work with an interpreter.
The two weeks spent in Urugay taught each group member something different and gave them all a heart for mission work.
A few months later, the team is still thinking of Uruguay and how the trip impacted them. Many of the members hope to go back at some point to work with Ricki Anne again and see the friends they will never forget.