Youth to teach, learn about God on mission trip

Jun 11, 2024

MIDDLEBORO — Church In the Pines youth clearly understood the purpose of the mission trips they will be going on this summer.

Fourteen-year-old Gabriel Cully, from Wareham, will be going to New Jersey to help with home improvement projects in low-income neighborhoods.

The purpose, he said, is to “share God's word and share with people that you can be with God no matter who you are or what your situation is. God loves everybody.”

Sixteen-year-old Lily Hagen, from Wareham, will be headed to the Dominican Republic. She hopes that “seeing how people live” in another country will be a humbling experience.

“I think I take a lot of things for granted, so I just want to humble myself a lot more because I know I have a lot more than other people.”

Both teenagers were at Wareham-based Church in the Pines’ cookout fundraiser held at the church’s outdoor location in Middleboro on Saturday, June 8. Proceeds from the fundraiser will help cover the $20,000 cost of its first-ever mission trips. 

One group will be headed to the Jersey Shore in mid-July. A second group will travel to the Dominican Republic at the beginning of August to help run a summer bible program at a rural Christian children’s school in the town of Cercadillo.

Thirteen-year-old Emma Blake, from Marion, will be going to the Dominican Republic. “I hope that I become closer to God and understand more about him and the culture,” she said. 

Sixteen-year-old Wareham resident Brandan Mazzoli, who is also going to the Dominican Republic, listed his own personal objectives for the trip.

“Be with God the whole time. Teach [the children] about God. Learn more about God myself through worship, music and singing. That’s what I hope to get out of it.” 

Hagen said she felt like that experience will make her a better person and strengthen her connection to God. 

Cully said “helping other people by fixing their houses” will help him better comprehend what it means to put the Christian commandment to “love your neighbor” in practice. 

Understanding that commandment is precisely what Church In The Pines Pastor Joel Gray said he hopes the youth get out of the experience.