Hope Lutheran group seeking support for ‘yucky challenge’

A team of teens and adults from Hope Lutheran has something to look forward to in the new year – a trip to help improve the health and safety of people in the mountains of Jamaica. But first, as Hope’s student ministry director Abaigh Vickers writes, they’re hoping to get you involved too, through community partnership:

This coming July, six high school students, and four adults (including myself) are leaving the cozy little town of West Seattle to take on a much yuckier challenge. Digging outhouses. But, that’s not even the kicker — we’re digging outhouses in Catadupa, Jamaica. A place with no electricity or running water. Our shower situation, one might wonder? A natural spring. It’s going to be gross, tiring, hard work — but definitely worth it.

As one might imagine, this trip is expensive, so we’re looking for local businesses and/or residents to help out. The biggest trip this church has ever done, previously, was to Mexico (which was great) but this is huge, comparatively. I’m excited, the students are excited and I’m hoping the other chaperones are as well! It’ll be an excellent experience for everyone. We will get to see how the poorest of the poor live. I’m proud of these kids for giving up basically six months of their lives to commit to bettering the life of someone more than 3,000 miles away.

The trip isn’t until July, but we’re starting the fundraising (epic) journey now. I’m easily contacted though this e-mail (avickers@hopeseattle.org) and any contributions people make are tax deductible, of course.

7 Replies to "Hope Lutheran group seeking support for 'yucky challenge'"

  • sophista-tiki December 30, 2011 (7:37 am)

    I think its great for kids from a more priviledged society take the opportunity to serve a community in need, a valuable lesson indeed. But the very first thing that struck me about this story was refering to the experience as “yucky” from my point of view setting it up as ” yucky” before even getting started.
    I lived on Taviuni in Fiji for yrs, no electricity either, its not ” yucky” it liberating.
    Digging is a basic labor skill, sure hard work, but anybody who gardens digs in the dirt all the time and doesn’t consider it ” yucky”.
    Some poeple have the understanding that everyday hard work is expected and the norm, not a planned experience.

    Two thoughts to consider:
    1. For a church I would think a more positive attitude about what to expect would be a given.

  • concernedinws December 30, 2011 (8:20 am)

    Many years ago, when my sons were much younger, we went to Jamaica (twice) to help build an orphanage with a non profit group. Taking 2 kids from relatively privledged WS backgrounds, private schools, etc. and submersing them in another culture and actually digging, mixing cement and troweling it on, was one of the best experiences they could have ever had. As grown men (exceptional ones at that!) they still talk about that experience and continue to give back to their community today. Go for it. It’s a once in a lifetime experience.

  • Cascadianone December 30, 2011 (8:37 am)

    Easiest way to keep from getting “yucky” digging these latrines- don’t let anyone use ’em until you’re done digging! ;D

    I do have some follow-up questions:

    Pit toilets fill up quickly and the outhouse structure is usually moved over a new pit… Will you be training the locals on maintaining these pits and knowing when/how to cap an old one and dig a new one?

    Will you be reinforcing your outhouse structures to be mobile?

    Do you know what soil types and landforms you’ll be digging in and how to prevent groundwater contamination?

    Will you be using insect barriers on the exhaust piping and training the locals to shut the lid to keep flies and mosquitoes out?

    Just curious, especially since these are skills/issues I would have imagined the locals would be the experts at, rather than a church group from a first world country with flush toilets! LOL.

    Anyway, good luck and have fun out there. Eat some of the local cuisine for me!

  • 35this35mph December 30, 2011 (9:16 am)

    Does this trip involve “missionary” work?

  • Pete December 30, 2011 (2:36 pm)

    I am just curious about something…if it is yucky and expensive to go to Jamaica….couldn’t they find a project to do here in the United States to help someone in need and learn the same lesson? I am thinking about maybe going to the 9th Ward in New Orleans where they still need help recovering from Katrina, or somewhere on the east coast that is still recovering from the Hurricane this summer or the recent flooding.

  • Nicole December 30, 2011 (9:13 pm)

    Wow, I don’t even know where to start with your derogatory, racist statements Jim. Watch the locals, really? I am Jamaican and live in your community. Should you watch me too!? To the volunteers serving, bless you.

    • WSB December 30, 2011 (10:28 pm)

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