Students give and receive in abundance on Emmaus Road trip

Posted By Horizon Staff April 11th, 2013 in Features : 0 COMMENTS

Evan Arnold

Staff Writer

As finals approach, most Westmont students will be planning their summers in the spare moments between study sessions and interventional napping periods. One way students engage in meaningful summer work is by participating in Emmaus Road. Last year seven Westmont women had quite an experience as they traveled to Uganda for their Emmaus Road trip. The trip included a variety of activities from day to day. Every day at least two people were set to preach. The seven women spent time praying over hospital tenants–a challenging but overall uplifting experience. A majority of the trip revolved around Faith Children’s Home, where the women spent time laying down concrete. They also painted a primary school built by Pastor Hudson and his wife Mercy.

Throughout, the women were taught at every juncture. Second-year Bri Lopez emphasized that they were taught much about the power of prayer.

“The one thing that I can tell you that I for sure learned as a result of going to Uganda was the power of prayer. The pastor and his family that we stayed with prayed for everything,” said Lopez. Explaining the extent of prayer’s pervasiveness beyond just preaching sessions and hospital trips, Lopez said that Pastor Hudson and his family would pray for everyday instances.

“If the car broke down, they prayed over it and it started up; if it was hot, they would pray for some rain and then an hour later the heavens would pour down. I got sick a few times while there, and Pastor Hudson would pray over me and I would begin to feel better,” said Lopez. According to Lopez, Emmaus Road in Uganda was a trip saturated with “true child-like faith and prayer.”

The memory that stands out most for fourth-year Natasha Tsaconas is the relinquishing of her guitar. She met a boy named Owen while in Uganda, and began to teach him how to play guitar.

“He had learned the whole song, ‘You Are Beautiful’ in one sitting. He didn’t get up and do something else; he focused on the task and mastered something before he moved on,” said Tsaconas. By the trip’s end, Tsaconas felt that God was prompting her to give her guitar to Owen. So, on the very last day, she did just that.

“It was emotional, but worth it. He still Facebook messages me with updates on how he uses it to write songs and performs them to worship God at church,” said Tsaconas.

The seven students returned with a familiar sentiment that many Emmaus Road attendees experience: the unique reciprocation of mission trips.

“I hate to admit it, but I went with the expectation that I would be blessing them through my work and the gifts that I brought, but I now know that I was the one blessed with their love and genuine kindness and care and prayer,” explained Lopez.

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