PSC Youth Missions Trip (2014)

Introduction

The Park Street Youth Missions trip took place in Medellín, Colombia for the third straight year.

There were 15 Boston youth along with four adult leaders on the team who came to serve for 10 days and to strengthen our ministry with the Biblical Seminary of Colombia and the community that surrounds the campus.

Do you speak English?

The PSC youth provided a one-week intensive English Camp to 150 local high school students from the Villa Flora school.  The English director reports that after English camp here students are so much more motivated to learn in their language courses.

During two evenings, the PSC Youth hosted informal get-to-know sessions with students from the English Club where both sets of youth shared more intimately about life and faith.

The official English Camp video is here and captures the incredible time of learning, sharing, forming and renewing friendships.

Other service projects

The PSC Youth group was also involved in other important service projects including:

  1. Building a concrete entryway and chicken coops for the Open Arms Foundation boys farm in a rural part of Colombia.  The Open Arms Foundation boys farm houses, educates and cares for street children from Medellín.
  2. Visit to the Fresh Wind Children’s Center for at-risk children and delivery of small supply of staples to the vulnerable families of children that are served by this center.
  3. Performance of evangelistic skits to 150 students during the ESL camp and to 450 elementary school children from the Villa Flora school.
  4. Painting work project on the Biblical Seminary of Colombia campus.
  5. Door-to-door invitation in the surrounding community to a special service at the Karakey’s church, Comunidad Cristo Rey, during the final weekend of the group’s stay.

Thank you

As a family we wish to thank Park Street Church, Adam Herndon, the PSC Youth Group leader, and the missions board at PSC for sending a team to visit us every year.  We feel very connected to our home church, our kids feel loved and appreciated as they are away from their friends and the work that PSC performs is so valuable to helping us build so many relationships to the surrounding community.

We wish to thank every member of the team as well for their dedication to service, their courage to leave their comfort zone and their love and generosity toward the people they met.

Check out the English Camp official video and the different photo albums to document this very special missions trip for the Karakeys as well as the PSC Youth group.


Presentations at the Villa Flora School

At the Open Arms Boy’s Farm in San Pedro

Weekend Debrief in Guatape

Park Street Youth Mission Trip 2013

What a blessing it was toYouth on stairs have the Park Street Church youth serving with us in early August.  For the second year in a row, they taught ESL classes to the high school youth of Colegio Villa Flora — the public school next door to the seminary.  The students were thrilled to see their American friends again and to meet new friends in addition to learning more English.

 

 

 

SkitThe PSC youth started their trip with three drama presentations to the different age groups of Colegio Villa Flora.  There was laughter and tears as each child and adult responded to the word-less skits showing how Jesus heals those who are broken.

 

 

Their first Saturday was spent at the Open Arms Foundation boy’s farm in San Pedro located an hour from Medellin.  Street boys are invited to leave the streets and live on the farm, going to a local public school, hearing about Jesus, and having an opportunity to turn their lives around.

At boy's farm

Our youth were joined at the farm by the Lutheran Church youth group.  The church itself meets on the seminary campus and it is where we currently worship.

Hauling gravelTogether they hauled gravel up a steep hill measuring about 3 football fields, laid the gravel on a dirt road, and moved a massive bag of wood chips to the chicken house.

Moving wood chips

 

 

 

 

After a yummy lunch of Arroz con Pollo, all of the youth played sports together – soccer, basketball and volleyball – while trying to talk and interact with each other in their respective beginning English and Spanish.  It was a blast!

 

 

The ESL week of classes was based on Prince Caspian and it was a big hit!  165 students came over each day to watch part of the movie and then split into 8 classrooms for instruction and discussion based on the movie.

Teaching ESL

Thanks goes out to all the English speakers who live on the seminary campus who volunteered their time and expertise to help us out in the classrooms.

The PSC Youth not only lent their brains but also their brawn.  They worked hard physically for four mornings, painting, fixing, cleaning and removing debris as a service to the Biblical Seminary of Colombia.

 

PaintingPlease look at the photos that try to capture the team’s time here in Medellin.  Here’s a link to the Youtube video.

A special thanks goes out to the children of the Park Street Church Kidsweek.  Thank you for your very generous donation of school supplies. Principal Mazo was thrilled and very thankful.

We are also excited to announce that the principal of Colegio Villa Flora has agreed to let us use the school’s auditorium once a month on Saturday afternoons so that we can offer a gathering time for the Colombian youth in our city.  The gatherings will be characterized by games, movies, and other types of interactions followed by ethical and spiritual discussions.

We are already missing our PSC friends but please know that their time, effort and affection for the Colombian students was well worth it.  We are continuing those relationships by offering the Boston English Club twice weekly:  Boston English Club Facebook Fan Page.

It is because of the efforts and prayers of the PSC Youth that we have a wide open door to minister to the youth in our neighborhood.

Muchas Gracias Amigos y Amigas!

 

An Unexpected Visit

Last month we had the privilege of hosting Joshua Gonzalez in Medellín for an individual, one-week short-term missions trip.  A little backstory is in order.

During my last visit to Boston, I shared our ministry with several small groups from my home church, Park Street Church.  At the end, as I typically do, I announced that we are always happy to receive visitors from Park Street for anyone who wants to make a trip down, like as a small group project.

Well, lo and behold, someone approached me right after the end of the meeting.  He said he had some time off between jobs and wondered if he might come down and help out in some capacity.  That gentleman was Joshua Gonzalez.  Wow!  Talk about taking me up on my offer.

Joshua Gonzalez

We were delighted to host Joshua during his time in Medellín.  He was a great help in our ESL program we have for our students (who need to learn a certain level of English to graduate).  In addition, the ESL program is also used as an outreach for our neighborhood kids.

Joshua Gonzalez 2

Joshua was also instrumental in a very secret project that Rochelle is working on.  As you know, she has been praying for a while on what specific role she might have here in Medellín.  Joshua was very helpful in creating financial spreadsheets for the secret project.    In addition, he canvassed the neighborhood taking a survey and conducting a feasibility study.  Thanks, Joshua!  You were a huge help!

We look forward to sharing this project with you in the coming months if indeed it is approved by the proper authorities here at the seminary.  Please do pray for that process as much work must be done on the final proposal.

We are thankful to Joshua for his willingness to serve and his spirit in getting out and meeting our neighbors.

By Gustavo Karakey

The Park Street Church Youth Missions Trip – Fait Accompli!

On July 25th, 2012, Park Street Church sent 15 youth and 4 adults to Medellin, Colombia for a short-term missions trip.

Their mission?  To teach ESL to 150+ high school students from a local public school (Colegio Villa Flora) located literally next door to the Biblical Seminary of Colombia, to perform in front of hundreds of children/youth sharing the gospel through song and drama, to co-sponsor a concert open to the seminary community, the local school and invited guests and finally to sacrificially give of their sweat and tears while clearing away years of trash and construction debris from the seminary campus and painting the front entrance walls.

The result?  Accolades from all sides.  The Villa Flora students were so appreciative of the obvious preparation and time invested into their lives from people from another country.  They kept asking “why are these kids doing this?”.  The seminary community was so thankful for the facelift as well as the monies donated which have provided new tools (shovels, wheelbarrows, pick axes, paint brushes, etc.) and plenty of paint to continue the facelift for months to come.  The Karakeys were thankful for the visit and the continued partnership with Park Street Church.  The Karakey kids were especially thankful to spend quality time with their youth group and to be able to show them a little of their life here in Colombia.

More details?  Thanks to Kris Perkins (who wrote an amazing ESL program and provided the leadership to pull of such a wonderful trip) there is a wonderfully written blog with more details and great photos.  Please visit it!  Park Street Church Colombia Blog

 

 

Park Street Church Youth Missions Trip

Introduction

The English are coming.  The English are coming!

We are so excited to welcome the Park Street Church youth group (and a few adults as well) to Medellín, Colombia the end of July.  The team will be partnering with our new church to reach the youth in our barrio for Christ.

A Busy Schedule

We will be holding a week-long English Club for the public high school (Colegio Villa Flora) located next door.  The principal has agreed to allow his students to participate in a 2-hour daily English club as an official part of their regular school day.  We should have the participation of 150 ninth through eleventh grade students.  (High school ends at 11th grade in Latin America.)  The school and we couldn’t be more excited!

In addition, the PSC youth will be giving a special drama/music/testimony presentation for the entire school at their facility during a special assembly. They will also be singing at a special concert for the high schools students and the entire Biblical Seminary of Colombia (BSC) family (students, administration and faculty) here at the chapel on campus.

We have a super busy time planned and we are all praying and looking forward to what the Lord will accomplish during our time together.

Pray for the PSC Youth Team

Please join us in prayer as the youth continue fundraising for their trip to Colombia, and please pray for the logistics, the openness of the students to hear the gospel, for a continued positive relationship between BSC, Colegio Villa Flora and our barrio, and for the myriad of details often necessary for an event such as this.

On a personal note, we are so very pleased to be able to share our ministry, our home, our life and our passion with our beloved friends from Park Street Church.

Thanks for coming!