Summer vacation has come to an end, and many students spent the last weeks of their break trying to fit in as much fun as possible before the start of the fall semester. Yet while droves of students headed to theme parks and other destinations, three local teenagers joined fourteen other adult parishioners from Riverside’s Joy Church spent their last days of summer preparing for a mission trip to Mexico.
The seventeen members were led by Pastor Benjamin Kim and embarked on a week-long mission to Ensenada in order to provide needed resources like water, food and clothes while spreading Christianity.
“Our main mission was to allow the children of Ensenada to experience God through a fun program called Vacation Bible Study (VBS),” said Pastor Kim in an interview.
Daniel Yu, whose son Jason participated in the trip, explained the benefits of sending his son to Mexico.
“I wanted my son to learn not to take things for granted by seeing how underprivileged people of this world live,” said Yu in an interview.
In addition to providing services, students worked with children and led various interactive activities.
When asked about what was most difficult about the trip, participant Janice Lee replied, “The most difficult part was the language barrier. I took a year of Spanish, but that wasn’t enough for me to fully communicate with these children. Most of the communication was done through hand gestures.”
Despite the language barrier, Lee expressed that she was still able to bond with the children.
According to the group of students, which also included Samuel Lee, the trip was a life-changing experience.