ALLEGRA

VANDERWILDE

Portland, OR Ambassador

*Where are you from?

   - Spokane, WA - but currently in school at the University of Portland in OR 

 

*History of Mission Work

   - Medical Mission trip down to Guatemala last fall with a team of general surgeons through the           organization Hearts in Motion! Planning on going back in the fall, and hoping to make it an annual trip if not more. 

 

*Impact that Mission work has had on you

   - To me, mission work is an amazing opportunity to give back, to really serve others without                 expecting anything in return- it’s the closest thing I’ve found to living a life as Christ did. My mission trip in the fall also has had a huge impact on my view of the world, plans for the future and perspective on the here and now. The people that I encountered, who in society’s view have next to nothing, people who can’t read or write and dig through garbage dumps every day to find food and make ends meet, were some of the kindest and most grateful people I have ever met. The medical aspect of the trip (we repaired 23 serious hernias during the week) and the impact that a small surgery could make - truly a life changing thing that allowed the patients to go back and provide for the family’s - has definitely inspired my desire to go into the medical field and hopefully medical school following graduation. Another big take away from the trip was the power of language and education. In the poorest of villages I observed a seemingly unending poverty cycle, that in my opinion was deeply connected to the illiteracy in the villages. We would conduct eye tests in the clinics, but had to get super creative because the villagers couldn’t read the eye charts, and some didn’t even know the words for picture cards of simple things like a star or a dog — so sad :(.Coming back to the states, I definitely have a larger appreciation for my ability to receive a quality education. I also felt a desire to do what I could here at home to prevent at-risk/ low income kids from being stuck in their situations so I got involve with a non profit called SMART (start making a reader today) and have really enjoyed reading with kids who are from homes where no one really cares about their successes or education. I know this is already long, but my mission work has also inspired me to keep up my Spanish - such a cool experience being able to really connect with the people of Guatemala — language is such a cool and powerful tool!!!

 

*What are you looking forward to as you become an Ambassador for “This Mission?”

   - I love what you guys are doing by starting this mission and I’m so excited to be apart of its future!! I’m looking forward to getting the word out and about and helping in any way that I can.

 

*Where do you see “This Mission” in 5 years?

   - Fully funding hundreds of missions a year and sharing God’s love alllll over the world :). Big things ahead friends! Also I think you guys should make a map of where everyone is serving that is connected to this mission! 

 

*What people, region, state, or even city do you feel called to? Why? 

   - My heart was definitely impacted by the people of Zacapa, Guatemala. I definitely feel called to go back, especially as I gain more skills and abilities that will allow me to serve in a greater capacity. From a local standpoint, I’d say my team and the students of UP!​