Every year, Calvin Christian School offers a trip for students to go out and learn about building houses, spreading God's word and growing closer together as classmates.

Calvin Christian School first started their Impact Trips through Amor Missions in 2005, offering it to their grade 11 and 12 students. But since 2009, they have changed it so they do it every year for their grade 11 classes only. 

The point of the trip is for students to get a first-hand experience of how scaffolding works when building through local ministries, which also allows them to learn about God's work in the area they are in.

This year, students and teacher chaperones visited Puerto Penasco, Mexico, which is approximately an hour south of the U.S. border in late March.

"We had a really great trip," says Matthew Klassen, a Physical Education teacher at Calvin Christian who attended the trip. "We were actually building an additional building for a church community. So, they have a main sanctuary, but we were building a classroom for the church."

Klassen says that during their time in Mexico, the students encountered a sandstorm which consisted of 70 km/h winds. To get a feel of how people live without homes in the community, the group typically sleeps in tents outside, but during the sandstorm, the church welcomed them into the sanctuary to stay safe.

"I think the thing that's most exciting for me to see is kids starting to grow together as a community and getting to be part of the change where they see a different part of the world and start to understand and grow in compassion and empathy for people that they maybe didn't have experience with before."

Among the group of students was Ella Vandenberg, who said she wanted to be part of the school community and wanted to put herself out into the world and do work that God is calling her to do. She wanted to be part of the impact that is done on these trips.

"I think learning a lot about how much I think that you can push yourself and I think in terms of, you know, you're out there working sort with all your classmates that you've only really known them within school and just kind of figuring out how to work with everyone and how they work best with each other," says Vandenberg. "And you can kind of apply a lot of the things that you learn while you're on this trip and just your everyday life."

For this grade 11 student, this trip held a lot of lessons that she can now apply to her everyday life, such as showing compassion for people in situations similar to what she experienced in Mexico.

She also hopes to share some of these lessons with others as well.

"I think for me, one of the biggest [lessons] is realizing that God can work in any situation, no matter where you are, who you're with. I think that just being out there in Mexico, there's really nothing familiar to hold on to, especially since you're in a whole different environment and everything that you're doing is so new. But just knowing that God will always follow you anywhere that you go and will always provide for you in whatever situation you might be in."

Klassen made sure to thank Amor Ministries for guiding the group on this impactful trip, for providing them with the opportunity to work with local churches and pastors in the community and to help those who need it.

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