By Lana Robyne
Here are reflections on the Wesley Foundation's student trip to Costa Rica written by Lindsey Junk, of Angola, Ind. She will be an intern at Wesley Foundation this coming school year.
She writes: "For ten days this past March, I had the opportunity to be a part of a mission trip to Costa Rica with Purdue Wesley Foundation and College Connection from Ball State.
"Even though we knew we'd be working at an orphanage, we had no idea what else the trip held in store for us. The first surprise was a stop at Dyer United Methodist Church where we were offered refreshments, blessings and a box of Scholastic Books from teacher Sarah Black, a member of First UMC in Valparaiso.
"In Costa Rica we met with College Connection friends. Following a day of site-seeing, we started working at the orphanage run by Charlie Strong, a former campus minister. We were surprised to be asked to help create paths for the cows of the Vista del Mar orphanage's diary. This dairy not only provides milk for the children of the orphanage but also creates some revenue to help keep their home running.
"While we did complete more than our leaders thought we would, we still had plenty of time to play with the children of the orphanage. They were full of love despite their circumstances, that joy also was incredibly strong at Los Guidos, a church in a very troubled neighborhood. This church's pastor and his family provide food and a safe place for up to 70 children to play every day. Even with intense violence and poverty, these children awed us with how freely they gave their love and how joyful they were.
"The greatest difference I saw at the end of 10 days was my deepening appreciation of what grace God has given us as a people."
Wesley Foundation students and staff are thrilled that Lindsey Junk will be an intern at Wesley Foundation next school year. She is very excited about reaching out to freshmen and inspiring everyone to get more involved in mission projects. Junk is not only an outgoing people-person, she also is a great role model for students, having graduated this May from Purdue with an honors degree in molecular biology, an honors degree in bio-chemistry, and a "regular" biology degree. After spending next year doing an internship with Wesley Foundation, she plans to continue for a master's degree in public health through the Peace Corps and eventually work for the Centers for Disease Control.
We also are thrilled that two of our Wesley students are in Costa Rica this summer to do unpaid internships with Strong Ministries. Deana Fandrei is a Super Senior from Dyer, Ind., who has been studying animal sciences but recently switched to major in Spanish education. She is working from May to July 14. Emily Stafford from Columbus, Ind., and a member of Sandy Hook UMC is now a junior studying food processing engineering with a minor in Spanish. She is working from July 7 to Aug. 14. Please keep them in your prayers.
Lana Robyne serves as pastor of the Wesley Foundation at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.