Mission Teams

Reflections: Northwestern College Mission Team (Angie Gornik)

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This past week Hope for Opelousas welcomed its 7th mission team from Northwestern College in Orange City, IA.  The team scraped and painted a house in the neighborhood. Many of them were able to go into local schools and assist teachers and help the students prepare for the upcoming Leap Test.  They also planned and put on a Lock-In for the HFO kids on Monday night.  If there was a way they could serve they jumped at it with energy and a smiling face, encouraging many people around the city.  We asked them to reflect on their time here and we would like to share some of their responses. Meet Angie....

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"The time I spent here was unreal and life changing.  I cannot thank you all enough for the experience.  Upon deciding to come down here over my spring break I thought I had a handle on how to work, serve, and love kids.  I think I learned so much more from these kids than I could ever teach them.  Over and over again I was shown unconditional love.  It is unreal to see the support HFO receives from the community and that comes from mission teams.  I felt that more was done for me here than I was able to do for those here.  You guys are doing amazing, wonderful, and beautiful things that are so incredibly respectable.  Thank you for everything you do for these kids and that you have done for me! Love you all!"

Angie Gornik, Northwestern College Freshman

Reflections: Northwestern College Mission Team (Cassie Westpfahl)

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This past week Hope for Opelousas welcomed its 7th mission team from Northwestern College in Orange City, IA.  The team scraped and painted a house in the neighborhood. Many of them were able to go into local schools and assist teachers and help the students prepare for the upcoming Leap Test.  They also planned and put on a Lock-In for the HFO kids on Monday night.  If there was a way they could serve they jumped at it with energy and a smiling face, encouraging many people around the city.  We asked them to reflect on their time here and we would like to share some of their responses. Meet Cassie....

Website

"HFO’s slogan is 'Love Changes Everything'. This statement could not be truer. Being here in Opelousas flipped my world upside down.  I thought I was coming down here to give love and to help others.  But, I received the love, and HFO opened my eyes to a different type of reality.  I thought I understood the world, but I definitely did not, and to be honest I probably still don’t.  Being in Opelousas and working with HFO is the best thing I have ever experienced, and I hope to someday get an opportunity to come back. Thanks for everything!"

-Cassie Westpfahl, Sophomore Northwestern College

Reflections: Northwestern College Mission Team (Kyle Cleveringa)

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This past week Hope for Opelousas welcomed its 7th mission team from Northwestern College in Orange City, IA.  The team scraped and painted a house in the neighborhood. Many of them were able to go into local schools and assist teachers and help the students prepare for the upcoming Leap Test.  They also planned and put on a Lock-In for the HFO kids on Monday night.  If there was a way they could serve they jumped at it with energy and a smiling face, encouraging many people around the city.  We asked them to reflect on their time here and we would like to share some of their responses. Meet Kyle.....

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"This week has been amazing and one that I will never forget.  I had the opportunity to go into the schools for a few days.  I believe this experience has changed my outlook on education, in a good way.  I enjoyed getting to know some students, practice patience, think through some troubling issues, and even teach a lesson! Opelousas now has a special place in my heart.  I really appreciate the way HFO shows love to everyone.  You guys are doing a great thing down here and I hope to carry some of your positive attitude and love back with me to Iowa.  This trip has allowed me to grow in my faith & think about some things in my life.  You guys are awesome!"

-Kyle Cleveringa, Northwestern College Sophomore

Reflections: Northwestern College Mission Team (Skyler Hill-Norby)

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335 We were told “Love Changes Everything”. Despite multiple encounters with the same sort of thing I was, yet again, surprised with just how true of a statement that was.  I expected to see glimpses of this in the kids, which I did.  I had little girls take my hand and lead me to their art projects, and there were a few special boys that came up and wrapped their arms around me.  The love that these kids had been shown throughout the past few years had changed them.  It smoothed out somewhat-jagged edges and opened their hearts to love.

Opelousas became my town.  The “Hope House” became my home.  The NWC 2014 group became my family and the idea that “Love Changes Everything” became my mission.  Although I leave this place now, the memories, experiences, friendships, and life lessons I have from this place will last me a lifetime. It’s been good. Thanks for everything.

-Skyler Hill-Norby. Freshman, Northwestern College

Mission Memories - Part 3

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brandon  

 Brandon Frick - I really enjoyed getting to know the kids at Hope for Opelousas. It was really fun to get to play some basketball with some of the kids I helped with at Opelousas Junior High School. It was also cool to meet some new faces that I didn't see at school. Basketball was the first way I met the kids outside of the schools and it was great to see them interact with the staff at Hope for Opelousas. It showed how much the kids can brighten up someone's day with a simple game.

 

 

 

dana

 

 

 

Dana Kleinjan - My favorite part about working with Hope for Opelousas was spending time in the schools getting to know the kids. They were SOO awesome!

 

 

 

 

 

jill

 

 

 

 

Jill Lemke - One of my favorite parts of this trip to Opelousas was having my friend Tray remember me! I totally did not expect for any of the kids to remember my face, let alone my name. I remember connecting with him quite a bit last year; we talked and he even made me a necklace, so it was super meaningful for me this year to have him remember me! What an important realization, that what we do in Opelousas is meaningful and remembered!

 

 

 

 

amanda

 

 

 

 

Amanda Kirsch - One of my favorite memories from our week at HFO is the block party we threw after the early out. For those of us on the mission team who were not in the schools, it was a blessing to spend time with the kids and be revitalized by their energy. I loved seeing old and new faces and recognizing love at work.        

 

                                                   

 

 

 

 

 

Mission Memories - Part 2

Natasha Slater

Natasha Slater  

 

 

Natasha Slater - One of my favorite memories from working with Hope for Opelousas was helping out in the schools! I loved getting to know the 1st graders that I had the opportunity to work with. Their smiles can brighten anyone's day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laura Tellinghuisen

 

 

 

Laura Tellinghuisen - My Kindergarten class that I was in taught me how to do small things with great love. Sometimes the smallest thing I would do meant the most to them.

 

 

 

 

Tyler Ann Farr

 

 

Tyler Ann Farr - One of my favorite moments from the past week was meeting this amazing girl Caitlin Soileau!!! I had an amazing week working in OJ and with HFO but having a heart to heart with this girl and spending A Night on the Town with her was one of the best parts of my week! Thank you for such an amazing week that was such an impact on my life. Couldn't have spent my spring break anywhere better!!!

 

 

Check out another blog post for more mission stories: http://hopeforopelousas.org/mission-week-memories-part-1/