In March a group of students from the Dakotas, Indiana and Massachusetts set out for Barbados, West Indies to build three churches. Their trip was organized by Mission 2000.

The group consisted of five sponsors, two college young people, and 18 high school students, including the entire senior class from Dakota Adventist Academy—who choose this project as their class trip. Most had never traveled far from the United States, and so the trip was a challenge for some. Yet throughout the adventure God provided places to stay, food in abundance and safety for all.

The first Sabbath they learned that Seventh-day Adventists are very alive in Barbados, as they enjoyed a worship service with Maranatha Church (which received one of the structures they helped build). After a service filled with music and inspirational speaking, they sampled local cuisine before heading to the Barbados Wilderness Reserve. The green monkey was the highlight of the afternoon. Across the street was the Farley Hill Park—once a very large sugar plantation.

Maranatha Church was in the first of two phases, working on the fellowship hall and bathrooms. The sanctuary will be next year’s project.

At Pine Hill Church the first floor was already complete, which included Sabbath school rooms and a fellowship hall. One group started construction on the upper floor and stairs, as well as a choir loft. Another group helped The Way to Calvary Church with flat work on the side of the building and constructing a ramp for wheelchairs. They also added a side room.

Vacation Bible School was an enjoyable experience at Bridgetown Adventist School, which includes pre-kindergarten to high school students in three large buildings. They sang songs, colored and told stories. A few of the girls with long hair were treated to lots of little hands touching and braiding!

The last Sabbath the group worshiped with The Way to Calvary Church. Again they were inspired by good preaching, after which they were treated to food prepared by local members including three types of juice: pineapple, red flower, and a juice from the bark of a tree.

The Dakota group took an educational/fun day on a catamaran, sailing the west coast, swimming with turtles and viewing reef fish. The tropical sun reminded them how far south of the Dakotas they were.

Presentations will be available to hear life-changing experiences about how God blessed the ministry team in Bridgetown, Barbados.

By Jacquie Biloff, communication director for Dakota Conference.