Junior High Summer Mission Week
Junior High youth typically enjoy daytime excursions to activities such as helping prepare & serve meals at Salem Soup Kitchen, coordinating a carnival at the Episcopal Home, gardening for GPC seniors, and helping at other local organizations.
Senior High Summer Mission Trips
The Senior High youth have traveled to urban locations like NYC (YSOP – Youth Service Opportunities Project), Baltimore, MD, Rochester, PA (Hosanna Industries), and Columbus, OH (Rebuilding Together – Central Ohio) as well as rural locations like Adams, Ogdensburg, Messina in Northern New York (MINC – Ministries in the North Country), Johnson City, NY (PDA – Presbyterian Disaster Assistance) and Columbia, MD.
They have taken part in roofing, siding, building decks, ramps & walls, painting, demolition, gardening, clearing debris, cleaning, preparing and serving meals, organizing food, clothing, and home goods, and assisting in children’s activities.
High School Seniors’ Jamaica Mission Trip
Since 2001, this trip has been during school winter break. The seniors participate in projects to support our Jamaica Partnership. Their work has included rebuilding the Santoy church, painting the Santoy and Green Island churches, clearing land around the Theodora School so that a “safe house” could be built for students who need housing, building fences and playgrounds, leading activities with the Basic School preschoolers, and expanding into the surrounding community to help at other caring organizations.
Adult Mission Trips
The Guatemala Partners group has had five trips to Panacal, Guatemala, starting with the first trip in 1994. The participants have ranged from as few as three to as many as 21 and the duration ranging from four to ten days. On the last trip, participants from Batavia Presbyterian Church joined GPC. The trips have been a combination of relationship-building, checking in with the villagers, and work activities. A couple trips included visitation to the school of the Randall Shea ministry in Santa Maria Tzeja. Also, see International Partnership for more information.
In 2005, a young adult team traveled to Green Island, Jamaica. During the week, they worked mainly at the Basic School – repainting the interior and exterior walls and cleaning up the playground. They enjoyed a day of activity groups with the preschoolers, leading them in reading, arts & crafts, and recreation.
A GPC team traveled to New Orleans to do cleanup and rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina in 2006.
In 2010, six young adults and 4 “older” adults from GPC participated in a Young Adult Mission Project to Hungary. Our destination was the tiny village of Magyarszecsod in northwestern Hungary. The Reverend Sandor Ferenzi, pastor of the The Reformed Church in the village, and his wife Anna were our hosts. Reverend Ferenzi spent years building a guest house on the church property, so that groups like ours will have a comfortable place to stay while we “bring the world” to the people of the village. We spent several days working at an old school that was being converted into a community center, but our most important “work” was experiencing their culture and sharing ours with the people of the village. We worshipped together, ate together, talked (with the help of interpreters) in groups and one-on-one, visited homes, laughed, danced, and prayed together.
In 2011, a GPC young adult taught English as a Second Language in middle school for a six month period in the village of Santa María Tzejá, Guatemala.
An adult team completed finishing tasks of painting, hanging doors and installing toilets at the Green Island Basic School addition in 2013.