On June 20-27, 2015, 17 youth and four adults from St. Mark’s participated in a week long mission trip to Cayey, Puerto Rico.  We joined others from Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Springfield, OH, and Charlotte to serve in Cayey. We had a wonderful time serving God and neighbor as we painted houses and repaired roofs for residents who were otherwise unable to make these necessary repairs. We experienced the love of Christ as we interacted and worked alongside these residents, often in spite of a language barrier.

Pastor Emily Hartner, Brandi Dotson, Susan Ginns, and I were very proud of the hard work our youth put in throughout the week, and for the relationships they sought to build with their residents and with one another.  For more details on this trip, check out the blog that Pastor Emily oversaw while we were in Puerto Rico.  It includes reflections from several of our youth: http://stmarksinpr.blogspot.com/

Below of a few of my favorite pictures from this trip:

Photo Jun 20, 4 25 10 PM

Walking through Old San Juan shortly after arriving in Puerto Rico

Photo Jun 26, 3 28 29 PM

A lovely view at Punta Guilarte Beach

Photo Jun 21, 3 52 40 PM

Our whole camp at the Puerto Rico Botanical Gardens

Photo Jun 25, 2 07 49 PM

One of our work crews shored up the roof of this house for Ivan and his mother.

Photo Jun 22, 12 59 00 PM

A view from one of the houses that our roofing crew worked on

Photo Jun 23, 2 56 17 PM

Avery takes a break from painting

Photo Jun 23, 10 05 24 AM

One of our crews seals a roof

Photo Jun 27, 7 06 14 PM

Susan’s work crew did a great job painting indoors and outdoors at their resident’s house!

Photo Jun 27, 7 06 22 PM

Virginia carefully paints a wall at her resident’s house

Photo Jun 25, 5 49 55 PM

Our youth in the town square of Cayey

Photo Jun 27, 5 08 26 PM

Our parents had a warm welcome for us when we arrived in Charlotte after our trip

Photo Jun 30, 5 18 44 AM

A group selfie at El Yunque National Forest

Photo Jun 28, 6 39 51 AM

We celebrated Avery’s birthday at our retreat center

















Dominic holds puppies from his resident’s house


Pastor Emily’s work crew painted most of the rooms in this house


A St. Mark’s work crew with one of their residents