It started in 1996 – a handful of teens giving up their spring break to serve in Mexico.
“It exploded. This year, there’ll be 1,000 teenagers” said Ray Johnston, senior pastor at Bayside Church.
And Bayside Church says that’s the largest mission trip made by teens in the world. The goal of trip? Not only change the lives of the people in Mexico, but also change the lives of the teen.
“I’ve seen more lives changed in Mexico than a year of Sunday school lessons here,” Johnston said.
High schooler Haley Morton is one of those lives. She’s ready for anything.
“They don’t have as much as we do, and so it’s hard to look at that and be like, I have so many more opportunities than these people do,” Morton said.
When she first heard about the trip, she knew she had to go. But, she didn’t know how to pay for it. After all, $500 isn’t something easy to come by for teens. Her solution: paint Bible verses and sell them.
“At first, it was like, I have no idea how I’m going to come up with all this money for the trip, but then once I did one painting, everyone was like, oh my gosh I want one now,” Morton said.
And her devotion is mirrored by hundreds of teens looking to come back from Mexico with something they don’t have.
“Instead of it becoming a name or a title or a place on the map, real people struggling to do great things and having many victories. You see their victory, that’s extremely powerful. It creates a global mindset,” Pastor Curt Harlow said.