It almost sounds like an episode of Amazing Race as Rev. Donna Hughes from United Protestant Campus Ministries of Cleveland and eight Case Western Reserve University students hop from country to country to reach their winter break destination: a small rural village in Laos. The group will put up the walls and fix the roof of a school in Luang Prabang as mission work.
The travelers are Hughes, Louisa Armstrong, Michael Baldonieri, Lea Cross, Anna Czekaj, Colin Downey, Hannah Clair Tkindt, Colleen Hosler and Michael Lyrenman.
The mission work aids a school that educates local villagers in small engine repairs, English as a Second Language and mushroom farming, a profitable crop that can support an entire village, Hughes said.
It will take two days to reach the rural destination by plane and another day on a local bus over rutted roads to the school that serves 400 students from 20 villages.
“We are going to experience bus travel the way locals travel,” Hughes said.
The group will start at Cleveland Hopkins, fly to Detroit to catch a flight to Hong Kong. After an overnight layover, they will travel to Hanoi, Vietnam, and then on to the Laotian city of Vietiane. After landing in Laos, they will meet up with six local Methodist mission workers, who will travel with the group.
On the way home the students will travel through Cambodia and stop for two days at the World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat, Cambodia, a 12th century temple built by King Suryavaman II as the country’s capital.
Students raised approximately $4,000 by visiting local churches and selling chocolate bars. The money was sent in advance of the students’ arrival to buy the supplies needed to complete the school.
According to Hughes, the school site was a former drug prevention center that the government abandoned when money ran out to complete construction.
Since Hughes became the new director last fall, this is the second winter mission. Last year, Hosler, who helped organize this year’s trip, traveled to a Russian orphanage to spend Christmas with the children in the home.
Students interested in future mission work, can visit http://www.upcam.org/home0.aspx or call 216.421.9614, ext. 301.
Posted by: Emily Mayock, December 20, 2010 08:19 AM | News Topics: Philanthropy
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