A Mission Trip to Jamaica: An Experience by Trinity Heller

Name: Trinity Heller

Year: Freshman

Hometown: Midlothian, Virginia

Major: Social Work

Her Campus (HC): Can you tell me a little bit about your trip over spring break?

Trinity Heller (TH): I had the incredible opportunity to serve with Missionaries of the Poor in Kingston, Jamaica. They are a religious organization of Brothers that devote their lives to Jesus and service. It was absolutely amazing to be a part of the wonderful community that the Brothers have built for themselves, the residents and the volunteers. We completely followed their schedule for a week; so we encountered a lot of prayer and served those who are mentally disabled, physically disabled or extremely poor. There were five different centers that we went to while we were there. There were two men’s homes, two women’s homes and one for kids, so we got to experience an abundance of inspiring residents. 

HC: How did you find out about this mission trip?

TH: I found out through an announcement after mass at the Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More. I went with 17 other amazing members of the Catholic Student Union. I always wanted to serve internationally, but never felt like I would be good at it. I really felt God calling me out of my comfort zone, so I decided to just go for it. 

HC: What did you do to help out with Missionaries of the Poor?

TH: We did some housekeeping work around the centers like sweeping, mopping, dishes, and wiping up tables. We helped serve the residents by feeding them, dressing them, bathing them, playing with them, brushing their teeth, putting lotion on them and painting their nails. Most importantly, we spent time with them and simply loved them however we could.

HC: What was it like experiencing a whole different culture? 

TH: It was extremely eye-opening because I personally had never experienced anything like the Jamaican culture or like the Brother’s culture. The amount of love that they all have for each other is so incredible. It really inspired me to try and love others more. The people were materially poor, but they were so rich in love for each other and for Jesus that they were perfectly happy. It definitely touched my heart. 

HC: What was your favorite part about this trip? 

TH: Making connections with not only the residents but also with the people I served with. I met so many amazing individuals throughout the centers that I continue to pray for and think about every day. A lot of the work we did was both physically and emotionally exhausting, but I knew I had seventeen other people there that I could lean on if I was struggling. We all bonded and made so many inside jokes. We still text in the group chat all the time and have been hanging out a lot since we got back. 

HC: What was the most rewarding part?

TH: Seeing how happy the people were to just spend time with us. A lot of the residents were very into physical touch so just being there and holding their hand or rubbing their back had the ability to make their day, so that was really special. Going into it, I wasn’t sure if being there a week was going to make much of a difference in anyone’s life, but I quickly realized how much it means to them to have people just care for them and love them, even if it wasn’t for long. 

HC: Do you plan to go on any other mission trips in the future? 

TH: This trip gave me a newfound love for service, so I definitely plan on looking into doing more. I’d be willing to go anywhere God is calling me, but I’m definitely interested in going to serve somewhere like the Dominican Republic or Guatemala. I would also love to go back to Kingston. If anyone who has never been on a mission trip before is interested in serving they should definitely do it. There are lots of different types of service trip opportunities and it really is a life changing experience.

All Photos Courtesy of Trinity Heller.