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PHPC Kids On Assignment: Journalism Workshop

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It has been a wonderful week at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church for the first annual On Assignment:Journalism Workshop. The idea to host this Workshop for 10 PHPC Kids came out of an activity the campers at Camp PVN did last summer.
Last year, the campers loved interviewing residents of PVN and then writing articles about them and sharing their writing in a newspaper format, which was shared with the congregation in the bulletin. We then decided to host a workshop that focused on just that! This week has turned out to be more than what we even imagined last summer. 

This week has given these 4th through 6th graders an opportunity to live out their faith by listening to our PHPC members stories of ministry. Through hearing and learning about the church ministries that happen in and outside of the building each and every day they have gained a deeper understanding of what it looks like for others to live out their faith. During the interviews one camper received a tour of the columbarium, which sparked a whole discussion of what the word “Columbarium” means. They also interviewed the pastors and new staff members. This experience gave them an insight to what the pastors do and what their jobs mean to them. 

We are so thankful to our guest speakers this week that have not only taught us about the world of journalism and all the different opportunities but also important life lessons. We hope that the students will take what they have learned with them no matter the path they choose in life with a deeper understanding about journalistic writing and the noble path of sharing accurate information and telling people’s stories. Thank you to Clarice Tinsley, Sarah Bennett, Julie Fisk and Nina Rayburn for speaking with our students, and to our coordinator Angie Millar!

Posted by Ann Nielsen with

Puerto Rico Mission Trip - Recap

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Our time in Puerto Rico was rich, educational, and life-giving. It was a privilege for our group to witness to God’s work on the island and to the resilience of its people.

In our time working in the garden at Camp El Guacio, we created raised beds with cinderblocks and cement, filled the beds with compost, weeded and cleaned up several other beds, and pruned plants in order to generate new life. It was holy and messy work, and it felt like a gift to get our hands dirty each day. After working hard at the camp, we finished up our week of work with a trip to Cesar Oliver’s hydroponic farm where we harvested sweet peppers that will be used to make pepper jelly to generate profit. Oliver’s farm is unique in that it employs senior citizens, giving them a chance to make a bit of income and do meaningful work that combats the societal tide of despair and hopelessness.

Since Hurricane Maria hit, the rates of depression on the island have gone up by 80%, and rates of violence and suicide have also risen dramatically. The collective trauma of the massive storm continues to have major consequences on people’s wellbeing. Even now, 21 months after the Hurricane, over 30,000 homes still do not have adequate roofs, and 50,000 roads have not been repaired. Additionally, many communities are still without electricity. The recovery effort is bolstered by places like Camp El Guacio, which have been providing basic necessities since days after the storm, and continue to provide respite, supplies, psychological and trauma care, opportunities to work and grow in faith, and hope for new beginnings. We were lucky to be invited by the campers at El Guacio to join them for a bonfire on Friday night where we sang in praise to God and heard testimony of the many ways that El Guacio has been a home for them.

With our work at Camp El Guacio complete, we spent time exploring God’s good creation. Our group traveled to the beach town of Rincon and spent an afternoon in fellowship. On our last full day we explored Old San Juan, seeing two 16th century fortresses, sampling the local food, and enjoying some free time in a beautiful place. Finally, we worshipped on Sunday morning at Iglesia Presbiteriana en Hato Rey – a lovely and warm community that welcomed us with lots of hugs and gratitude for our work.

I speak for our whole group when I say thank you for sending us on such a wonderful trip. I hope this is the beginning of a new relationship that flourishes in years to come.

Posted by Jessie Light-Wells with

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