Kids’ missions are to help kids |

Kids’ missions are to help kids

Matt Terrell
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyVail Christian High School senior Luke Dillon paints tattoos on the arms of children at a day care in San Jose, where he and his classmates did a mission trip in March.

EAGLE COUNTY ” The language barrier wasn’t a problem for Vail Christian High School students on a mission trip in San Jose, Costa Rica.

The children they helped at a crowded day care just wanted some attention, senior Jessie Chadwick said.

“They didn’t need to talk with us, they were more about playing games and having fun,” Chadwick said. “They just needed love.”

Seniors from Vail Christian spent seven days in San Jose in March and were faced with poverty they had never seen before. They spent a couple days helping out other missionaries already stationed there with housework and repairs, and the rest of the week helping out at a day care a woman was running by herself.

The woman takes care of about 30 children every day, from early in the morning until 10 p.m. Parents work long, hard hours in San Jose, and the lady at the day care ends up feeding them breakfast, lunch and dinner for no pay.

She occasionally has help from friends and other missionaries, but for the most part, she goes it alone.

Some students and parent volunteers built an extension for her tiny kitchen, and the rest of the students just spent time with the kids, who sometimes seemed very sad when they were dropped off in the mornings, Chadwick said.

Soccer was sort of the universal language.

“It’s a really poverty stricken area, very low income,” school counselor Kim Ehley said. “They were hard working, very friendly people.”

The student missionaries did have time for fun ” they went to a “crazy” professional soccer game, to the beach, to the markets and on a rafting trip. The food ” beans and rice everyday ” was also pretty tasty.

“We saw that we shouldn’t take things for granted,” Chadwick said. “Respect and love everything you have.”

Money was raised for the trip with a dinner theater fundraiser and work days in Cordillera.

Juniors from Vail Christian didn’t have to go too far for their mission work. They helped out groups of children at a Christian elementary school and an after-school program in inner-city Denver.

The children they helped came from severely broken homes, many living with grandparents, aunts and uncles and friends because their parents are in jail for drugs, prostitution, or some other crime, science teacher Mindy Larson said.

The are extremely poor, and come to school on Monday nearly starving after not having eaten most of the weekend, Larson said.

“They are fed three meals a day here,” Larson said. “Many of them haven’t been fed all weekend.”

The Vail Christian students played with the kids, read to them, organized Bible studies, helped make lunches and did a neighborhood cleanup.

“I was a huge eye opener for the kids,” Larson said. “We stayed right in the heart of it ” it wasn’t the safest part of town, and we were aware of that.”

Staff writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 748-2955 or

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