SNU students spend their Christmas break serving others

The Medical Missions Team in Monclava, Mexico Photo provided by Sidney Ketchum
The Medical Missions Team in Monclava, Mexico
Photo provided by Sidney Ketchum

Ronna Fisher, Editor-in-Chief

    While many students wiled away the last days of their Christmas vacation by skiing, lounging in front of the television for days or sleeping for thirteen hours a day, thirteen SNU students traveled to Monclava, Mexico to be a part of a life changing missions experience.

   The students returned changed and grateful. “I could not believe how grateful the people of Monclava were for how little they had. God taught me to be grateful for what I had. Going on this trip has made me see things a little differently now,” said freshman nursing major Sidney Ketchum.

   Heather Cox, senior biology major said, “I learned what it means to die to myself in my own preferences and to take on the preferences of the Lord. The lessons I learned on this trip have permeated into my personal life and have affected my relationships with my family and friends.”

   Many students expressed a desire to serve more, integrating missions into their lives. “This trip showed me how much passion I have to serve people. I loved knowing that I was able to help someone by just giving them some reading glasses or just attempting to talk with them with the little Spanish I know,” said Ketchum.

   The students were divided into teams, including a medical team. Travelling to eight church sites, the medical team set up clinics for the local community. “People from the communities were able to come get their vital signs checked, see the doctor and then we even had a pharmacy for people to receive medications. We had many reading glasses donated, so we were able to hand those out as well,” explained Ketchum.

   Cox added, “We were able to touch the lives of many by providing them with personal care packages. I remember there was one woman who said that she really needed some glasses. I remember seeing her face light up as soon as she put those glasses on and was able to read the print on the page that she was holding. It was moments like this, along with many others, that truly brought joy to my heart.”

   Building relationships is a common and memorable theme throughout the students’ individual experiences. “I really enjoyed bonding with the people there. I built some wonderful relationships with people from all different backgrounds and cultures,” said Cox.

   For some students, this was their first mission trip. “I was extremely excited to go on this trip. As time got closer, I did become somewhat nervous about what the trip would actually be like, but my excitement definitely took over that feeling once I was on my way to Mexico. I just prayed for the trip and for my heart to be changed while in Mexico,” said Ketchum.

   The participants encourage anyone even remotely interested to pray about going on a missions trip. Ketchum understands that leaving your home and stepping out of your comfort zone is hard, but the shorter length of the Monclava trip is an easy first step into missions. “I am so thankful that I got to be a part of this trip, and I hope that anyone who is interested would go.”

   Cox agrees, “The people you meet and the relationships you build will change your life. I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to go on this trip and serve.”