Mission: Not Impossible

This summer, five Etowah students with Woodstock City Church followed their calling to serve families living in extreme poverty in Costa Rica and Honduras. 

“I have always had a heart for helping others and for kids,” Madi Hines, Etowah senior, who served in Costa Rica, said. 

The children living in poverty in Costa Rica are often neglected by their parents and do not have access to food, so the team spent time connecting with these vulnerable families and children through games, arts, and relationship building. Additionally, the students engaged in projects such as construction, painting, and renovations at local schools. 

“Although the kids had a hard home life, they always had a huge smile on their face because of the simplest things,” Maggie Messerly, Etowah senior, said. 

The group in Honduras partnered with HOI Inc., a nonprofit Christian organization, that focuses on improving Hondurans medically, educationally, agriculturally, and spiritually. The team engaged in physically demanding construction projects, from mixing concrete to building bathrooms. Their goal was to provide simple necessities to Hondurans living in poverty. 

“The most impactful thing I did was when I built a shower out of bricks and concrete for families. It really hit me that we were building them a shower when I saw a family leave for awhile to go bathe in the river. When they got back, we realized that we were going to change their lifestyle forever,” Maddy Sansone, Etowah junior, said. 

Many of the students created unforgettable bonds with the children they served. The relationships created are bound to be impactful and will always be remembered. For Sansone, it was a strong connection with a little boy in Honduras. The boy ended up crying in her arms and begging her to stay because their relationship was so strong. 

“I learned that a language cannot separate you from creating an unbreakable bond with a child,” Hines said. 

As they say in Costa Rica and Honduras, “Hasta la vista.” Mission [trip] accomplished.