Update: I am deeply saddened to have to inform you all that due to COVID-19 the University of Mary has canceled it's trip to Peru. I had so many hopes for the trip, but I know this decision is in the best interests of those we would have served in Peru. I am so touched by the tremendous amount of support I received while working towards this endeavor. I will be sending a letter in the upcoming months describing to you all the preparations we underwent, and either returning your generous donations or notifying you of the good they went towards. Thank you all again. You have been in my prayers since day one, and I will continue to pray for you.
Dear friends and family,
After my semester of school this spring, I hope to join a faculty led mission trip to Ayaviri Peru from April 27 to May 7. Ayaviri is small and remote and lacks basic infrastructure, health care, and education services. So, there are significant needs and opportunities to make a meaningful impact. During our time there we will be working with the Ayaviri Prelatura and the Salesian Sisters that run a special needs school, Corazón de Jesús. The mission trip will have three focuses: Serving the Salesian Sisters and the children they house and educate, providing means of obtaining potable and heated water, and serving the medical needs of the population.
In Peru 79% of the rural population do not have safely managed drinking water, including Ayaviri. In Ayaviri there is minimal plumbing, and water is brought in on a pump truck. It is neither heated nor filtered. I feel especially drawn to this mission trip because it has an engineering focus and I am currently earning my BA in mechanical engineering. Our goal for the months preceding the trip will be to design and prepare means of safe water collection and heating. We will design methods of collecting water from both rain and mountain fog. We will also provide means of heating water using solar energy. During the days we spend in Ayaviri, we will construct them for the people living there, as well as attend to any other needs which are identified.
The trip is also a medical mission. It was for this purpose that the annual mission trip was created a few years back. We will be joined by physical therapy and nursing students to serve the medical needs of the local inhabitants. I use the word “local” lightly because in years past people have traveled long distances and then waited in lines overnight to be seen by the medical personnel who will be joining us.
Between the long hours of travel, the difficult living conditions, and the physical demands of service, the trip will be a sacrifice. I have never traveled outside the United States, nor served on a mission of this scale before. I do not know what to expect except for sacrifice and joy. I am placing all my trust in God to prepare me for this experience and guide me through it. I have no doubt that it will be life-changing for me and I hope to make my time in Ayaviri life-changing for at least one person, if not many, there. On my last day in Peru before I return to the States, I will have the opportunity to hike Machu Picchu (one of the 7 wonders of the world).
I ask for your prayers for me now and during my trip. Please pray not only for me, but for all those who will be serving with me, and those we meet along the way, as we go forth to be Christ’s hands and feet serving the poor. Without God we can do nothing, but through Him we can do all things.
Finally, I also ask for your financial support if you feel moved by the Holy Spirit to contribute in this way. The total trip cost will be around $2500 for travel-expenses, room/board, supplies, etc. While not everyone can travel, your contribution to this trip would make you a part of helping me make a difference to the people in Ayaviri. It will not be me touching the lives of those in Peru, but all of us. I will need to meet general trip payments over the upcoming months. Any donations over what I need will be put towards the trip fund or donated. Thank you so much. I am very grateful.
May God bless you and your families. You will be in my prayers.
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