Junior Elise Heiman returned from her third year on the Mississippi mission trip even more fulfilled than ever from her experiences of serving the needs of the people in Jonestown, Mississippi.”I have never felt so accepted and needed than in Jonestown. Seeing the finished house I had worked on was the best feeling of accomplishment I have ever had.”
For the eleventh year in a row, AHN missionaries traveled to Jonestown to serve this small community and live out AHN’s mission. The group stayed in the home of Sister Kay Burton SNJM. Packed into her small home, the girls adjusted quickly to the close quarters and the work ahead of them to improve the community and the lives of the local people.
During the week, the missionaries repaired Mrs. Linda’s family’s home, worked to clean the medical clinic in Tutwiler, assisted at Sister Theresa’s preschool, and helped Sister Kay with gardening at her house, painting dugouts, and organizing donated clothes. Missionaries agreed that the renovation of Mrs. Linda’s home and her family’s gratitude were worth the long hours and hard work that came along with restoring a home. The girls loved getting to know the family and working together to make the home beautiful.
In addition to missionary work, the group attended Mass on Sunday evening, participated in the local Walk-a-thon, traveled to Arkansas to see the Mississippi River and historic landmarks, and celebrated the week at Ground Zero restaurant in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
Junior Siobhan Plummer also experienced her third year on the trip and looks forward to the week every year. “I love it there. Everyone is so welcoming and we have a lot to learn from the community. It is a life-changing experience.”
The girls grew very close over the week, with no discrimination based on age or experience in Mississippi. Missionaries could not have been more excited to see each other upon returning to school on Monday, after only a day apart, and recount treasured memories about the trip. “This mission trip fully embodies the Academy sisterhood and living out God’s mission to serve others.”