Mission Trip combines helping others and growing spiritually

“Helping others is the most rewarding thing that can be done, and I was extremely humbled this summer to donate my time to people who were in desperate need of love,” Annie Roethe, junior said. Forty-three West Linn students went on the mission trip to San Francisco June 30-July 6, which was sponsored by Willamette Church.

Along with the students was Emma Dean, sophomore. “I had just seen so many crazy things happening and saw God working in so many ways that I had never seen before and it made me want to take my faith further,” Dean said.

“Just seeing so many things that I’ve heard about, in person was really weird. You would see people smoking crack or prostitutes getting into pimps cars or guys passed out drunk on the sidewalk,” Dean said. “Those things had just become a reality check to me.”

The trip was a great way to help the students realize what life can be like for addicts. The trip also “really made it clear to me how important it is to tell everyone about the gospel, and it made talking about it to people much easier,” Connor Gardner, junior said. “It makes you realize how much you take for granted and makes you appreciate everything so much more,” Dean added.

“We were serving from dusk till dawn, but the glorious part of it was that I was forced to rely only on God’s strength, as much as I wanted to rely on my own. It forced me to lean on God which was a challenge for me,” Gardner said.

Most high school students that went on this trip are actively involved with the Willamette Church as well as Young Life. Roethe Dean and Gardner all lead middle school youth groups as well as help out in the kitchen occasionally.

“Overall, it was a highlight of my summer, and I would encourage anybody to go on a week of service, or even go to club on Monday nights and/or Wednesday night youth group at the church,” Roethe said.