Youth Mission Trip, July, 2002

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The St. Luke's Youth left for a 10-day mission trip on Friday, July 12. The group consisted of 25 youth and 4 adults. The first stop was Albuquerque, New Mexico. There, on Saturday, they visited the Southwest Organizing Project, or SWOP, to see the work they are doing for people living in the South Valley of Albuqueque. One of the projects visited was Intel, where Ravi and Lolita show how they monitor the air quality. We were also fortunate to visit the Maher's (former St. Luke's members), who graciously hosted a pool party for us. On Sunday, July 14, they cleared trash on the road to the Pajarito Mesa (see the after and before pictures, below). This road is the primary access for many people on the Mesa, which provides low cost housing; for example, school children walk this road to get to school. 42 large trash bags were filled by the mission team.

The group arrived in Flagstaff, Arizona, Sunday evening. Monday, the team worked all day on a duplex for married students at the Indian Bible College. The work consisted of painting the outside of the house and excavating the basement to allow the installation of new support columns. A great deal was accomplished during a satisfying work day. The culinary event of the evening was Laura Boon's now infamous "disinfectant pot" chili mac.

Tuesday, Aaron made a fantastic breakfast of pancakes, bacon and eggs for everyone. The team then left for Las Vegas, a rest stop on the way to Salt Lake City. We had a rest stop at Bullhead City, on the Colorado River and the Nevada border, for lunch, and then visited the Labyrinth at St. Andrew's Catholic Church in Boulder City, Nevada.

On Wednesday, we had a wonderful, but unplanned, lunch in the Cafe at the Bellaggio on the Strip and then drove to Salt Lake City. On Thursday, we had a long but very productive day. 2/3 of the team worked outside at the new Mountain Vista UMC, working on their landscaping and cleaning up their vacant lot. We filled a very large dumpster with overgrowth and trash from the lot. The rest of the group cleaned, painted, and sorted at the Crossroads Urban Center Thrift Store.

Friday morning, the Youth participated in a workshop led by the Crossroads group, and then rode the bus to Glenwood Springs. On Saturday, everyone went whitewater rafting. Sunday, we attended church services at the local Methodist Church, and then returned to Highlands Ranch.