Here and there, Langley has gone everywhere
Cathy Kiess and Cayhan Movaghari, Editor-in-Chief and Reporter
October 1, 2012
Filed under Feature
This summer, I traveled to El Salvador for a week’s worth of work with orphans and he homeless. It was easily one of the most powerful experiences of my life.
Our youth pastor called the effect the trip would have on us “heart surgery.” Though I found this a bit dramatic at first, in the end my team emerged with our emotions slapped across our faces.
In a land of plenty, it is easy for us to isolate ourselves from the poverty and need that is so apparent in today’s world. But this summer, Langley students took the road less traveled.
Senior Jessica Weaver had a similar experience, traveling with her church, McLean Bible, to Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic.
Their goal was to share the Bible with the children there, in both orphanages and schools.
“I had never been inside a home where a family lived on dirt and, if they were lucky, had some walls and a tattered mattress to share for an entire family.
I had never seen eight-year-old children acting as caretakers for an infant,” Weaver said.
Taking a little bit of the Dominican Republic back with her, she was given the opportunity to sponsor an eight-year-old girl. “I am so excited to welcome her into my family and to be able to write to her and pay for her needs.”
The youth group at Great Falls United Methodist traveled to Guatemala this summer to an inland village, in order to construct 16 cinder block stoves for families in the outlying areas of the capital city.
The team spent time planting trees, and “interacting with the natives; learning about Guatemalan culture,” according to senior Zack Dailey. “The stoves really changed these women’s lives because cooking over open flames is unhealthy and really unsafe,” said junior Olivia Brodnax.
However, the Guatemalans’ lives were not the only ones changed.
Brodnax said that her world view was altered, as she witnessed the lives of those in developing countries and “how little they have compared to us.” She added, “They are not constantly complaining about what they do not have, but are very happy when they receive something so life changing.”
For Dailey, the most meaningful part about the trip “knowing that we really made a lasting impact on the lives of the Guatemalan families we visited with the stoves we constructed.”
“I would do it all again in a heartbeat; I walked away from this summer with a true sense of accomplishment and purpose in my life,” said senior A.J. Scalia.