Painting, People, and Prayer

Little Sisters of the Poor: Kenzie Harder
Hello to everyone back at home!
I was so excited for this mission trip in New Mexico, yet I had no idea what to expect. I have never been on a mission such as this one before, so I was really looking forward to see what type of work we would be doing. Today was our first work day. As a parish we split into two groups (St. Patrick and St. John Paul II). We all got into our cars and drove about an hours drive into the town of Gallop. In Gallop there is en elderly home titled Little Sisters of the Poor. My group, St. John Paul the II, stayed to help out at the home. We had no idea what we we’re going to be doing when we got there. Mario, who was the director or volunteers was so nice to us. He gave our group a quick tour of their wonderful facility and introduced us to some of the sisters that worked there. Mario gave us about 6 paint cans (red, blue, and yellow) and some brushes. He directed us to re-paint the front parking lot. (Keeping in mind it was 95+ degrees) we started work around 10am. We worked until 12, which was when lunch started. Lunch was so delish! We relaxed inside until 1, and after that we went back outside to work until 3. I personally was very satisfied with the work I did. Robbie and I (the best work duo ever!!!) worked really hard and painted so much. The peaceful painting job soon turned into a paint war, and most of us had red paint all over our bodies. Around 3pm, we all went into the volunteer room to wash up. Mario came in and took us in pairs to meet and talk to residents. The residents stay together in pairs in a single room. It’s divided by a curtain so they have their privacy. The woman I met and was beyond privileged to chat with was amazing. Her name was Betty. She truly was the epitome of cute elderly women. Try and imagine what she looks like as I describe her. She was Navaho, so she had very tan, soft skin. Her hair was a glowing white/grey color, that hung in two braids right down past her collar bone. Her right eye seemed to have a watering problem, and she couldn’t seem to open it quite as good as her left eye. Her smile was slightly crooked and it was kind of hard to understand what she was saying at some times. I was slightly nervous to speak with her, but also really curious. Right away after I introduced myself, she began to tell me about herself. I could go on and on about her but I’ll describe her to you in a nutshell. She was born and raised in a home on the side of a mountain 16 miles from Gallop in Arizona. She was one of 11 children, and there are only 3 of them left alive. She has three children and about 12 grandchildren (she couldn’t remember the exact number). She couldn’t remember how old she was, but told me the year she was born and told me to figure it out from there. I calculated 85 and she said that sounded about right. She was such a genuine person and it was a joy talking to her. We left and drove home to have mass and dinner. After dinner we did praise and worship hip and lit candles show how we all had Christ’s light within us. Overall, today was such a beautiful day. I learned so much and had so much fun. I cannot wait for tomorrow! Thank you for letting me blabber, Kenzie Harder

St. Francis School, Missionaries of Charity: Olivia Colville
To all the Washintonians and everyone from HFK, this is my first mission trip I have ever been on. Going into this week, I had no idea what to expect. Today changed my view of the whole week into such a positive experience. I am rooming with some of my closet friends Delaney-Deanna, Casey and Kenzie. This morning, we woke up and scrambled to get ready for breakfast. We did liturgy of the hour, then attended breakfast. After, we split the HFK group into 2. My group went and helped out at a vacation bible study at St. Francis school in Gallup, NM, run by the Missionaries of Charity. We helped serve the food, clean the dishes, hang up a school sign, paint touch ups in the hallways, repainted the lines on the playground, and repaint the stairs. It was such a wonderful experience because I have never done anything like painting a school and it was a great challenge for all of us. I loved connecting on a different level with my group. We then came and picked up the other kids from HFK and went to stock up on some sugar at Walgreens….and possibly bought a whiffle ball bat 🙂 we rushed home to get ready for mass. Mass was gorgeous. It was incredible getting to go to a different church and seeing how they do mass. Dinner was a great time with the HFK buddies by playing a game called “connection”. After dinner, we helped plant trees and I got to know a girl named Cassidy. She’s from Louisiana and we became best friends in a heart beat. She told me all about what life was like in the south and I told her about what life is like in Washington. She introduced me to her friend Connor who also lives in Louisiana and another boy but I forgot his name :/ but he was very nice also! We all then sat together when we had praise and worship. We gave affirmations while holding candles and Cassidy gave me one. It almost made me cry. I got the courage to go up and give one to my sister Kristian. She is my best friend. The whole experience has blown my mind and made me so excited to see what God has more in store for me! NEW MEXICO IS AMAZING! Stay tuned 12: 2 ministries! I love you all! -Olivia Colville

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