Fifty-one Highland Academy students and sponsors departed the school campus to go on two separate mission trips from January 29 to February 8, 2023. One group went to Kenya and the other group to Nicaragua.
The mission trip to Kenya was mostly focused on physical work for the community. This trip had been planned for a previous school year, but due to COVID-19 regulations it was postponed.
“Back in 2020 when I heard we were not going to Kenya, the disappointment was devastating, but it was well worth the wait,” said Tian Carney, a senior who had planned to go on the original trip. “The people and the trip were something I will never forget.”
Some students helped gather and lay bricks to build showers for a girls’ boarding school. Others worked on building trusses for the Women’s Health Center that is in the construction process. Another option was to do some medical work in the nearby clinic that was already running. Some students weighed babies, helped with ultrasounds, taking records, and even assisted in the delivery of a baby.
Although they did some physical work too, the Nicaragua mission trip was more focused on spiritual work in the community. Students helped with multiple religious programs through music and speaking opportunities. The students were willing to help wherever God called them to. “The time I spent with the kids each night sharing about Jesus is something I will never forget,” said Highland Academy senior Carlie Alverez. “They were so receptive and excited to learn their memory verses and sing songs about God. It was a blessing.” The students and sponsors were glad to have a break from the hustle and bustle of school life, and be able to use their time and energy in a new setting for God. Sponsor and Highland Academy grounds worker Andy Wade tells his students that he enjoys sponsoring because when he went to Highland, his first mission trip changed his life. He wants to provide that opportunity to students now. “I had the privilege to go on my first mission trip my sophomore year here at Highland. That trip not only changed the lives of the people in Belize, but it touched my life in many ways,” said Wade. “I love sponsoring the mission trips because I want to provide that opportunity to our students. I want them to be able to have that same life-changing experience that I found in serving others.”
When the students returned, they also brought many stories and memories back with them. The school had a student-led week of prayer, and some students used that time to share their new testimonies with the rest of the school. These trips are a refreshing reminder that God can use everyone for His work, no matter their age or status.
Kentucky-Tennessee | April 2023