Six students from the Weyburn Comprehensive’s Christian Ethics class are eagerly preparing to go to Peru in March of 2014 on a mission trip. While there, the students will build a set of concrete steps up the side of a dangerous hill in a shanty town to provide the locals with safer access to clean drinking water, spend time with the children of the village, hold a dental clinic, learn some Spanish and more.
“I think it’s going to be a great experience,” said Haley Anderson, a Grade 11 student who couldn’t pick one thing she was most looking forward to. “It’s exciting to have a new experience and to experience a new culture.”
“I’ve always wanted to go on a mission trip to help people. I’m not that strong in my faith with God, but I like helping people,” said Grade 12 student Connor Racicot. “I’m most looking forward to building the staircase and seeing the looks on the people’s faces after it’s done.” Racicot is also excited about surfing lessons the mission trip group plan to take while they are in Peru.
Chelsea Hoffart, Grade 12, said she is excited about “just actually meeting the people.”
“I’m excited to see the culture of the people and how they live their lives and the differences between our lives and theirs and, of course, to help them,” said Hoffart.
“I think it’ll be nice to build the steps but I’m also looking forward to spending time with the children and taking them places they don’t normally go,” said Rekina Browatzke. She is in Grade 11.
Jamisen Johner, Grade 12, is most looking forward to providing easier access to safe drinking water and being immersed in another culture.
“I’m sure I’ll learn lots,” she said. “It’ll definitely change my point of view to see how different it is for them there.”
Johner has been enrolled in Christian Ethics for three years and said, even before the mission trip, the class has taught her many things.
“It’s taught me a lot about different lifestyles and how to be a helpful person to others,” said Johner.
“I really enjoy this class,” said Hoffart, who has also taken the class for three years. She chose to be baptized after finishing her first year in Christian Ethics, which reaffirmed her faith.
“It reminds me to treat everybody with respect and that we should love one another,” said Hoffart.
Browatzke said the class taught her something very valuable also.
“It gave me a new definition of what courage is,” she said and said Christian courage means “standing up for what’s right in the face of any harm.” She expects to learn things from the trip as well.
“I think it’ll be a good feeling to help people and I think we’ll be closer as a group and be new friends after the mission trip,” said Browatzke.
“I think I’ll remember the trip for the rest of my life. It’ll be a once in a lifetime experience,” said Racicot. “I know my needs and wants are going to change a lot after I see how they live in poverty.”
“It’ll be an eye-opener for us,” said Anderson of the mission trip. “I think it will leave a lasting impression.”
Ashlee Adacsi is also going on the mission trip but was unavailable to be interviewed.
The six students from Weyburn and three more from Radville and Estevan will leave for San Juan de Miraflores, Peru, on March 22 and stay there for one week. The mission trip is open to all students enrolled in their second year of Christian Ethics.
The next fundraiser for the students will be a spaghetti night in McKenna Hall on Thursday, Jan. 23. At the students’ last fundraiser, a garage sale and raffle, they raised $1,700. A total of $90,000 is needed for the trip.