Each year many Auburn students use their spring breaks to serve others. For the past two years, junior Becky Falgoust has traveled with Auburn Campus Crusaders on mission trips to different countries. This year they traveled to the Dominican Republic with an organization called Filter of Hope.
Filter of Hope is a non-profit that leads different groups to different countries to distribute water filters.
“Their goal is to break the cycle of poverty by transforming communities around the world, mainly by distributing water filters,” Falgoust said. “These people have no access to clean and safe water, and an innocent child dies every 20 seconds due to an illness contracted from impurities in the water they drink.”
Falgoust went on her first mission trip last year to Nicaragua with Auburn Campus Crusaders. Once she heard that she had the opportunity to go again this year she immediately was interested. Though at first, her spot on the trip was not solidified she eventually was given to opportunity to go. (Photo: contributed by Becky Falgoust)
“When you ‘sign up’ for a trip with Cru, you sign your name on a piece of paper that gets put into a bucket,” Falgoust said. “ They pray over the names, then select them one by one, and that’s how they decide who gets to go.”
Falgoust name was not originally drawn, but luck would have it a spot opened up.
“I got a text a month before spring break from one of the Cru leaders saying a spot had opened up and of course I took the opportunity,” Falgoust said. “ I was shocked, but it was truly God’s hands that I got the opportunity to go.”
Once on the trip, Falgoust was one of 60 Auburn students, some that she knew and some that were new friends.
“We really became like a family and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to spend my spring break with,” Falgoust said.
Each morning would start around 6:30 a.m. The students would wake up and meet at the buses where they were put into groups of four to six people plus a translator. They traveled to a different village every day and they were assigned houses to visit or sometimes they just chose houses randomly. (Photo: contributed by Becky Falgoust)
“When we got to a house, the translator would explain that we were from American with a Christian organization and that we had water filters to give to them,” Falgoust said. “The looks on their faces when they saw the clear water flowing from the bucket was one of my favorite things about the whole trip.”
After teaching the families how to use the filter Falgoust and the other students were able to spend a little time with each house. They were able to get to know the locals and teach them about their mission.
At the end of each day, they would head back to where they were staying, eat dinner and then meet for worship and share time. During sharing time the students were given the opportunity to tell stories about their day, special connections they had made and what they had learned.
Falgoust and the other students were able to meet and work with many people mostly Dominicans and then some Haitians.
“They all lived in extremely impoverished areas in tiny, compact houses with most of their immediate family cramped under one roof,” Falgoust said. “Despite their living conditions, they were the most hospitable people I have ever met.”
Though they traveled with translators because the locals didn’t speak English, Falgoust didn’t feel like there was a divide between her and the locals.
“They were the type of people that could make you feel like you’d known them your whole life,” Falgoust said.
Falgoust had amazing experiences on her mission trips. She was originally unsure about going on her first mission trip to Nicaragua last spring break, but once she was there she knew she had made the right choice.
“You’ll never regret going on a mission trip,” Falgoust said. “ It’s exhausting and you’re covered in dirt and sweat by the end of the day, but the friends you make and the experiences you have more than makeup for that. You’ll learn more about yourself in one week than you could ever imagine.”
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