Lessons from Trinidad

Observations made during a Castlegar group's two-week trip to the south Caribbean

Castlegar group that recetly visited Trinidad: Front row: Michelle Potter

Betsy Kline

Castlegar News


I recently had the privilege of being part of a group of 10 people from the Castlegar Baptist Church who went on a Missions Trip to the island of Trinidad.

The southernmost Caribbean Island, Trinidad is located near the coast of Venezuela. It is a country with a diverse population, with most citizens tracing their roots back to Africa and India. Even though the country has plentiful oil resources, stark poverty exists in contrast to the wealth generated from the oil industry.

The purpose of the trip was to aid in the running of a week-long childrens day camp. The experience was life changing and eye opening for most of those who went. While trying to make an impact on the children there, we were in turn impacted by them. Here are some of the lessons we brought home.

Lesson one:

Be thankful for clean, running water.

The day after our arrival we awoke to brown water coming from the taps. We found out that the water in our area was to be off for four days. We would need to use the water in our reservoir sparingly. I must admit, we were not thrilled to have to ration showers and flushes. The next day, camp began and one of our responsibilities was picking children up from their homes in a van. Some of these children were coming from tin shacks, as small as 12 by 12 feet, with no running water or electricity. We no longer complained about our limited supply and realized how fortunate we are to have clean, drinkable water whenever we want it in Castlegar.

Pictured below: Sarah Kline and her young friend.

















Lesson two:

You do not need things to be happy.

These children had so little-no iPods, cell phones, electronics of any sort, only a few changes of clothes. They were thrilled with any small gift, even a simple piece of candy; they were in awe of the snacks we provided since food was scarce at home. Yet, they were happy. They smiled, played, giggled, never complained and were thankful.

Lesson three:

There is joy in serving others.

We experienced some other difficulties along the way: a concussion, a foot fracture, vehicle problems, cuts, bruises, heatstroke, migraines, a severe asthma attack, bug bites, no water, lice, cancelled flights and a 13-hour layover. In spite of the adversity we remained happy and loved every part of the trip. In retrospect we realized that it is because when you are doing something for someone else and focussing on others’ needs it leaves little time for selfishness. In blessing others you yourself are blessed.

Lesson four:

Charity begins at home.

Experiencing the needs of another part of the world provokes you to look at and assess the needs of your own community. We were all burdened to not only look to help others abroad, but to find more ways to serve at home in Castlegar.

Just Posted

Choir leader’s selfless work wins her Castlegar Citizen of the Year

Christina Nolan has grown the community choir into a strong and vibrant asset for the city

Water main maintenance ongoing in South Castlegar and Blueberry

Project will take two weeks — city says there should not be any service disruptions

Downtown businesses want you to love them this weekend

Third annual event encourages people to shop in their own community.

Police investigating man’s death in Winlaw

Foul play not established, but major crimes unit is investigating

Grand Forks woman assaulted in home invasion

The incident took place Wednesday morning

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Kootenay man arrested and charged in 2015 murder

Nathaniel Jessup 32 of Creston has been charged with the second-degree murder of Katherine McAdam and offering an indignity to a body.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

GALLERY: First responders in Fernie return baby owl to its nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

Most Read