The beauty of God is evident everywhere, from the roaring oceans, to the snow-capped mountains, and the vibrant cultures of the land. No matter where we go, we can’t help but see the reality of His love throughout creation, bringing us close to His heart. Throughout our high school journey here at Orange Lutheran, we have the opportunity to serve other communities through missions trips and experience the wonder of God in the ordinary and extraordinary. In September, many students and staff here at OLu had the opportunity to attend our bi-yearly Native American Reservation Trip. Our team headed to the sunny and crisp valley of Bishop, California to serve the native Paiute tribe and experience an incredible culture and nature.
Our fellow students and staff participated in serving the community around them in Bishop, not only through restoring physical gardens, homes, and gathering places, but also hope inside the hearts of Bishop’s natives. Student Molly Wilkerson, class of ‘24, explained that her group’s project was to “help build a sunshade over the dance studio” which “helps preserve the cultural dances and languages” of the tribe. Another student Austin DeSousa, class of ‘24, said that he “enjoyed filling in asphalt” at a church and “going back to the church seeing everyone being appreciative of the work.” Not only was this service a blessing to the places that are reached by our school, but also to the students who are a part of these trips. “I definitely grew over the course of the trip being able to realize how much the people there are grateful for everything we did for them and how we should be grateful for God taking care of us,” says Wilkerson. Spending time away from their schoolwork, phones, and day-to-day life created a whole new space to be with God and “talk to Him through prayer,” seeing “His design in nature” says DeSousa.
What a beautiful opportunity it is to go out into a new community and get a deeper understanding of the culture and history that makes up the land. Through mission trips such as this year’s Fall NART trip, our school gets to step into the story that God is writing all over California and ultimately be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Photo Credit: OLu Missions