Changing lives

Freshman builds houses for families in need during spring break mission trip


Scarlet Brink poses with her mission group in Juarez, Mexico. Photo contributed

Payton Naftzger, Staff Writer

Over her spring break, freshman Scarlett Brink joined her friends and church in helping to improve the lives of two families by building one of the two houses her church put together on a mission trip to Juarez, Mexico. 

“It’s just a new experience, and I think it’s important for everyone to have an experience like that,” Brink said. “It gives you a better perspective of life.”

Along with her, there were several other students from Center Grove that participated in the building of the houses for the families. 

“There were five or six other freshmen from Center Grove, two seniors from Center Grove and some sophomores,” Brink said.

To get to Juarez, Brink and the rest of her group flew on a plane to Texas before driving over the border into Mexico.

“It was cool when you switch from Texas to Mexico when the scenery changes and you get to see how much wealth is in America than Mexico,” Brink said. “There was sand and trash everywhere and the architecture was pretty damaged compared to what we have here.”

Brink and the rest of her group spent a large portion of their time building the houses, starting around 8 a.m. and working until 2 or 3 p.m. 

“A lot of the time, we were just really tired, so we wanted to stop working, but we had to get everything done for the day,” Brink said.

In the four days it took to complete building, there were many tasks that needed to be finished in order to complete the project. 

“We’d do different things based on what needed to be done,” Brink said. “We’d work for a while then eat lunch with the family before working for the rest of the afternoon.”

Throughout the time that they were working on their house, they faced a few challenges that made it difficult to get through the project such as the lack of experience and trying to prevent mistakes.

“It got really hot sometimes. One day there was a sandstorm, and it was like 30 degrees,” Brink said. “That was really hard because everyone wanted to stop but we had to keep going because we only had a limited amount of time.”  

Even with the struggles, there were parts of the trip that made it easier for Brink to keep going and finish the project. 

“You’re there with all your friends, so it was fun, and you didn’t get bored,” Brink said. “You get to have fun with your friends as you keep going.”

In the end, completing the project and getting to see the impact that it made on the families’ lives was the greatest part of the trip for Brink; something that will likely stay with her forever.

“I went last year, and I had a lot of fun. I think it is just important to have that experience,” Brink said. “When we gave the house to them and we got to see the impact it made on their lives at the end was the most fun part of the trip.”

If she ever gets the chance to do it again later, Brink would go on a mission trip and build a house all over again.

“I’d do another trio because it’s just a good way to spend your time,” Brink said. “You can do a lot of things with your time, but it really helps people.”