In June 2019, a team of Holy Trinity parishioners served on the parish’s second annual international Mission Trip. We traveled down to Ensenada, Mexico to partner with local churches and serve the community. It was an extremely impactful and faith-filled experience for all involved. Please see below for journals and testimonials from parishioners who served as part of our team and then click here to learn more about our plans for June 2020.
We have secured our dates for 2020 and would love to have you join us on our next Mission Trip! June 20th – 27th, 2020 we will once again be partnering with Praying Pelican Missions to offer families the opportunity to serve together in relational ministry. This trip is open to all families and parishioners (Children must be 8th grade and up with an accompanying adult). Contact Andrew Watson for more information.
MISSION TRIP 2019 JOURNALS
BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS IN BAJA – INGRID BEATY
My husband, daughter, and myself recently had the opportunity to go on the Holy Trinity Mission Trip to Mexico for the second year in a row. Prior to going on the trip last year, we were told it would be a little different than the classic mission trip experience because the emphasis was going to be on building relationships with the local community. I have to confess, I was not quite sure what that meant. However it quickly became evident throughout the trip and this year it came full circle when we were greeted with huge smiles, lots of hugs, and a big welcome from the community we served. It was amazing to reconnect with the people we served last year. Every day I felt comfort knowing we were serving people who truly needed to know that we care for them, love them, and could easily connect with them as sons and daughters of Christ. Most days were emotionally hard. There was no denying that the people struggled with providing the basic needs for their families, addiction, and illness. One of the hardest days for me was serving lunch, exchanging testimonies and praying with women at a newly established women’s home. A young women in the home reached out to us because someone was wearing a Tesoro sweatshirt. She shared with us that she grew up in San Juan Capistrano, and had attended San Juan Hills for a few years. Her family sent her to the home in Ensenada to recover from drug addiction. She was on her way and was hopeful to be healed and reunited with her family. Realizing that this young girl was similar in age to my own daughters hit me hard. Almost every girl wanted to share their story with us. We prayed together with tears in our eyes and warm embraces.Once again, I was reminded that regardless of borders, we are all the same. I feel that the trip has served me far beyond what I could do to serve others. While praying together for others, I deepened my own appreciation for prayer. I also learned how much more I can give physically, emotionally, and spiritually and that by doing so I am actually nourishing my own faith, spirit, and my love for God. Honestly, it is amazing just how positive everyone we encountered was. Their faith in Christ and the church that connects them to their faith, was a testament to what God is asking each of us to have. I am grateful to Fr. Reynold, Andrew, and the wonderful people of Ensenada who provided this opportunity.
MY MISSION EXPERIENCE – JOANNA SANCHEZ-NUNEZ
When I heard about Holy Trinity participating in a mission trip to Ensenada, I knew I wanted to be involved. Not only do I love to volunteer and help others, but the opportunity to serve others of my Mexican ethnicity pulled at my heart. That being said, this was only my second mission trip ever (first was also with Holy Trinity, last year) and so the only expectation-like thoughts that I had included maybe building things, giving people things, and not receiving anything in return… but my experiences of the trip reminded me of God’s love and how He is always there for us during our struggles. To begin with, simply being able to speak Spanish with the people of Ensenada made me, a visitor, feel at home. Not being able to speak my native language on a daily basis at school or work is saddening at times, but having the chance to share a commonality with strangers was awesome. Additionally, the hospitality of the people that we were on a trip to provide for, provided so much for us with smiles on their faces. Three meals a day were cooked for us, we had a place to sleep, and neighbors volunteered their houses for shower usage. And lastly, the admiration and enormous belief in the dependability of God was inspiring. The people that we met had histories of drug abuse and mental health issues, to homelessness and imprisonment. But their trust in God was so strong, even overwhelming at times. Neither during bad times nor good times is my first thought always to pray or thank God for what he’s given me. But seeing the people of Ensenada reach out to God as a reaction to everything encourages me to do the same.
MISSION TRIP 2018 JOURNALS
JOURNAL #1 – JOHN ANDRIKOS
This is more than just a sticky note. This past week, I and a group of parishioners (now close friends of mine) from Holy Trinity went on the parish’s first mission trip. We were in Ensenada, Mexico for almost a week doing what one usually does on a mission trip: serving. It struck me, though, how much that went both ways. Where we provided material support the Ensenadans gave to us profound examples of trust in God, hospitality, and resilience. The poverty was heartbreaking to witness at times, and adding to the effect was the fact that it’s only a few hours away from quaint, privileged south OC. I saw dry brush hills similar to the ones where I live, yet they had not million-dollar homes enclosed in a gated community built upon them, but shantytowns connected by derelict roads. Despite the misery around them, those people hold their heads high. They share what little they have with strangers in inspiring examples of hospitality. They look to God with an unshakable trust. During the week, we met people who had been in and out of jail, trapped by addiction, and burdened by sickness and injury. We met children with contagious joy. Each of them had a story to tell. Stories full of sadness and hardship, hope and triumph. That sticky note (above) was given to me by a little girl we met and spent a lot of time with – it’s my invitation to her birthday party. I may not be there for her party, but I know I’ll try my best to continue to serve as I can with what I have, and to see people as just that: people. God’s children. We would all do well to remember that and treat each other as such. It’s honestly so difficult to put into words just how much this exeperience has impacted me, but let me tell you, I’ll never forget it!
JOURNAL #2 – JAYMES MACABALE
¡Gloria a Dios! The Mission Trip was transformative to say the least. I have just returned from serving on my first mission trip with a group from Holy Trinity. I’ve been wanting to serve on a mission trip for years and I was beyond excited, but this was more than I could’ve ever expected. We spent the week in Ensenada and the amount of faith that the people had despite not having anything, was truly admirable. Seeing the conditions and the problems that many of these people faced in there day to day lives compare nothing to our small, insignificant problems we face here. I had always known that poverty existed, but finally meeting it and talking to the faces of poverty, put everything into a completely new light. Hearing their stories and all of the hardships they had, and through it all they all had this unbreakable faith. I wish I had faith like that. And even though we were there to serve them, there was never a moment where they were not serving us as well. I feel like lately I just haven’t been trusting God and I’ve been trying to fill my heart with things that don’t last. After this week, He has just filled my heart with his unending love and I just want to spread it and share it with the world. I hope to return Ensenada and more places like this to serve. And now that I’m back, I’m left with the question “where do we go from here?” And while we can’t be there to serve them now, we can glorify the Lord with every action we do! Make everything you do be a shining example of Christ through you. I hope that all of you could witness God working through these people and I wish you could experience something like this at least once in your life. I want to challenge you all to be a global citizen of the world, to live a life without borders, and to take a step back from your life today and think…just think, what can I do to better this world? Thank you Lord for making this trip possible and for blessing me with the life I have.