From June 10-16, eighteen members in our Maranatha community traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana to help serve God’s people as they continue to recover from Hurricane Katrina.
The New Orleans mission trip was a great opportunity for the Maranatha team to serve others, reflect Christ to the community, and grow towards becoming the people The Lord desires each of us to be. From the church where members of our Maranatha community helped out with kids, to the elementary school where they painted, cleaned, and generally did anything needed, to painting at Camp Restore, it was an exciting time because it allowed everyone to see what the Lord has planned for all of us each day. In addition to working hard, the team experienced many opportunities to have fun, laugh, and to simply enjoy each other. Mike Mancini, Maranatha’s Dean of Students and Missions Advisor, said, “God really blessed us during that week. We had opportunities each day to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those around us. There were so many new people and different things to take in each and every day, such as the weather, the food and just driving around the city was an incredible experience. It was easy to see God at work in our group and in the places we were blessed to visit.”
Many other groups from around the United States, and even the world, stayed at Camp Restore and had the chance to build some lasting friendships. Mike said, “Each day our team had devotions and a couple of the groups shared from their hearts about what God was doing in their lives. That time was a highlight of this trip because it really pulled us together.” Each day the Maranatha team ventured out into the New Orleans community, and, even 13 years later, could still witness the devastation from Hurricane Katrina, but could also see the hope in the lives of the people they were around.
For the students and staff who traveled to New Orleans, serving the Lord and others on this mission trip can best be described as "amazing", and the team is looking forward to sharing the impact it made in each of their lives.