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Mar 2, 2018

Brant Mexican mission well-served

 Brant Christian School students got the chance to work alongside the families that were to receive the homes they built.

Brant Christian School students got the chance to work alongside the families that were to receive the homes they built.

They were there to build homes for the needy, but Brant Christian School students returned from their Mexican mission with more than construction skills.

The contingent of 34 high school students brought home a lifetime of memories, as well as a greater appreciation of the privileges they enjoy. The week-long trip also reaffirmed the rewards that come with serving others.

Abigail Emscheimer’s first-ever trip to Mexico was an eye-opener. The Grade 10 student’s first  impression was of a scene out of a post-apocalyptic movie.

“Everything was broken and the houses were built out of scraps. You didn’t even know people were living in the houses, because everything just looked abandoned,” says Emscheimer, whose lasting impression will be the gratitude shown by those they were helping. “Everywhere we went, people seemed to have hope and joy and it almost made them more joyful we were there.  We were flying down from Canada and we weren’t on vacation, we were there to serve them.”

Brant Christian School raises money for a Mexican mission every two years. Building homes is the focus and Evan Nauta signed up for the first time with hopes of sharpening his construction skills.

“I learned how to put tresses up on the roof properly and how to align them. And how to shingle, which I hadn’t done before,” said the Grade 10 Palliser Regional Schools student.

One of his favourite memories, however, was of a visit to “The Ranch,” a drug and alcohol recovery centre.

“That one really stuck with me; just the joy on their faces when we played volleyball with them. It was like they didn’t have anything wrong with them, and listening to their testimonies really touched me,” he says.

It was Grace Meyer’s fourth mission, including earlier trips to Germany and Bolivia with church groups, and Brant’s last visit to Mexico. Every one of those adventures has changed her life and provided her with a different perspective, says the Grade 11 student.

She decided to learn Spanish after her South American mission and says that decision paid off during this trip, including visits to the Ranch and an orphanage.

“My Spanish is very limited but I learned a lot and I used it a ton. I could ask them their names, or ages, or favourite subjects in school. Little things like that I find help you make better connections,” says Meyer.

In her second Mexican mission, Kaitlyn Miller left the orphanage painted from head to toe after her group brought the children nail polish and face paint to enjoy. They also brought stuffed toys, which were received with wide eyes and wider grins. 

The Grade 11 student realized those children aren’t that different from those she works with back home.

“They were all happy and wanted to talk to people. They just wanted to play, even though they grew up in a different environment and with not as much,” says Miller.

Emily Lemieux enjoyed her first mission trip with the school two years ago. The Grade 12 student believes she got even more out of this experience, however.

“I stepped out of my comfort zone throughout the trip. Definitely during the ministering and reaching out to children during church time. It was 100 per cent worth it,” says Lemieux, who is considering a return trip to help out on her own this summer or next.

Brant Christian School, located about 130 kilometres northwest of Lethbridge, offers kindergarten to Grade 12 for 130 students.

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