Mission to New Mexico
Here we go again!
2002: 8 teens and 4 adults from St Mark's traveled to West Virginia to work with Habitat for Humanity. By 2004, the annual mission trip grew to 60 missioners from 4 parishes (adding Ascension, Trinity and St. Peter's).
By 2005: Under the name of Dream Builders, the team of 80 missioners flew to New Mexico to construct two homes in one week.
Working side-by-side with the new homeowners who would live in these homes made an overwhelming impression, both on teen and adult missioners. On the final day, a worship service and home dedication is held on site. When one of homeowners made a very emotional thank you speech to the group, there wasn't a dry eye.
For 2006: We had hoped to rebuild homes in the Katrina devastation area, but learned that infrastructure is not yet in place for groups our size. So we plan to return to New Mexico to blitz-build four homes in one week.
Our team of 120 missioners, aged 14-75, maintains a ratio of two-thirds teens. Teens as well as adults lead the numerous task groups. In addition to our sister parishes, 16 missioners from Temple Isaiah in Fulton will participate. Daily worship will be led both by Jewish and Christian teams.
One missioner, a filmmaker, created a stunning documentary of the 2005 trip. Many teens return each year, recruiting a friend, and some (now in college) will attend their fifth mission.
Missioners pay their own way plus the $10,000 materials cost per home. One anonymous donor sponsored one home. Others, investing $20 per "share" come to a "shareholder breakfast" in the Fall.
Later today we take off for New Mexico.
To see a slideshow of the 2005 blitz build, click here.