Oakcrest is excited to announce its first overseas mission trip, which will take place in August 10-17 in Jamaica. Over a dozen Upper School students, accompanied by Oakcrest chaperones, will work with Mustard Seed Communities. Mustard Seed Communities is a nonprofit organization dedicated to caring for the most vulnerable populations in society, particularly children and adults with a range of developmental and physical disabilities.
Susan Driscoll, Director of Mission Programs at Mustard Seed, explains the mission trip experience: “Communities’ mission trips are carefully structured service experiences rooted in meaningful interaction with the program's residents. Residents are children and adults with a range of disabilities, children affected by HIV/AIDS, and teen mothers and their babies. Core aspects of an MSC mission trip include tangible work projects to contribute to the residential care program and the opportunity to explore a different country and culture.”
Oakcrest history teacher, Cecilia Escobar, is spearheading the trip. “The goal of this international service trip is to experience a country and culture vastly different from our own, by serving the needs of the marginalized,” she says. “Through these rich but simple encounters, we hope that students gain an appreciation for all of the blessings we have personally and in this country. Students will give of their time and talents and in doing so develop a better understanding of the worth of the human person.”
The students on the mission trip team look forward to a week of service and learning. "I hope that those that I am serving will teach me to be grateful for all the blessings in my life that they might not have been blessed with, and to see that many of the things that I think of as necessary are really not that important," says sophomore Rose Ferguson.
Although this is the school’s first international mission trip, service has always been an important part of an Oakcrest education. Oakcrest’s service program fosters leadership through service to others, from the student-led Service Initiative Program to an annual All-School Service Day.