Reflection by Amanda Livermore
It’s a common assumption that college students spend their spring break beachside or at parties, taking a break from the demands of college. For some students from University of Central Florida and Embry Riddle, along with other young adults, this spring break offered an opportunity to work even harder by serving children in our Sister Diocese in the Dominican Republic.
During two weeks in March, these young adults came together to teach music and sports to children who attend our five schools in the mountains of San Juan de la Maguana. Each day these college students would hike for over an hour to reach these schools. March 2-9, the UCF group taught elementary school children basic singing techniques along with praise and worship songs which had been translated into Spanish. At the end of each day, the children would put on a performance. They were so proud to share their gifts. It was beautiful to hear the voices of these angels drift across the mountains.
The Embry Riddle students led a week long sports camp for the middle school children March 16-23. They taught sport skills and teamwork which will serve these students well when they compete later this month with students from all over the Diocese of San Juan de la Maguana. The last day of the camp they created a four lane track and the children ran relays. All the teachers were spectators, cheering them on. Everyone had a blast!
I was blessed to witness young adults so selflessly giving their gifts. Each one of us learned so much about what it means to live on the fringe of society, forgotten by the rest of the world. As we hear our new pope speak of our call to care for the poor, we have the faces of these wonderful children in mind.
Amanda Livermore is Manager of Young Adult Ministry, Office of Faith Formation with the Diocese of Orlando. She participated in the Spring Break Mission Trip March 2-9 with a group of students from the University of Central Florida.