Friday, August 7, 2015

MSMT 2015: Day 2 Recap!

Seems like we have a bunch of JOKERS in the bunch! They MUST be having a great time! 

Dear Parents - I was left starving and alone in the Sahara desert, stricken of snacks with any appeal. 15 kids being held on the shoulders of two leaders, we are in peril. Currently, baking in a 20 x 15 ft room running at 85 degrees. I fear this will be the last note you receive from this mission. In God's name we pray.

Hi People - I am very excited and I'm NOT actually hurt. Surprise!

I swear this is a concentration camp really! I'm being forced to do this in my free time. But I am SO EXCITED about the market and aquarium, so yeah.
-Casey :-(

Hey Parents - We are helping people and are safe. Have a good day!

Hi From Boston- This group of kids have been such a good time! We had a beautiful drive up on Wednesday and even arrived in Boston a little early and got to drive around Fenway Park. Thursday night we got to be part of the community meal served out of the church we are staying in. Then we had some time for worship before bed. I'm having a blast getting to know all of them and can't wait for the fall!
-Amanda Huels!

Some more pictures of the group:

Thursday, August 6, 2015

MSMT 2015: Day 2 (August 6)

MSMT 2015: Day 1

Amanda sent me a text this morning stating-

 “We are doing great! Last night we had an awesome community dinner at the church we are staying at, kind of like their version of Agape, and then had worship and small groups. 

Both groups are at work sites now. Boston Rescue Mission and The Mather School.” 

She will send pictures later on today! 

Keep checking this blog for updates!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

MSMT 2015: Departs for Boston

The Middle School Mission Trip participants and advisors are on their way to Boston, MA!

Let us pray that they arrive safely and have a wonderful experience serving the community in Boston!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


The Middle School Mission Trip is taking place from August 5-8, 2015.

General Information
  • We will be working through the City Mission Society of Boston
  • The church info is: Brighton Allston Congregational Church in Brighton. It is located at 404 Washington St. in Brighton
  • The phone number to call in case of an emergency at day & night is (847) 226 – 7344 (Amanda’s cell)
  • We will be sleeping on the floor on air mattresses 

What Needs To Be Done Before We Leave

·         ALL parents of students, even those not on prescription medicines, must read and sign the Medication Form. Those students who will be on ANY prescription medication must bring your medication to Linnette in the church office, no later than Monday, August 3rd by 5pm.


 Travel Information
  • We will meet at the PCW parking lot on Wednesday, August 5th at 8:30 AM
  • Please eat breakfast before arriving.
  • We will return to PCW at approximately 2:00pm on Saturday, August 8th.  We will call on our approach.
 The Accommodations
  • We will be staying at Brighton Allston Congregational Church in Brighton.
  • There are showers for us to use.
  • Everyone must bring their own pillows and sleeping bag or sheets.
  • Once we are in Boston, MA meals will be provided, including snacks. 

What to Bring

  • Due to limited space in the vans, ONE reasonably sized bag & ONE backpack for use throughout the week
  • Pillow
  • Sleeping Bag or Sheets
  • Towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Personal toiletries
  • Flashlight
  • Bible
  • Hard plastic water bottle
  • Casual clothes/shorts
  • 2 pairs of Jeans
  • Closed toed working/walking shoes (SNEAKERS)
  • Shower shoes/flip flops
  • Sweater or lightweight jacket
  • No halter tops, spaghetti strap tops, bare midriffs, or short shorts please!!
  • Spending money ($40-$50) for free time!


If you have other questions or concerns, please contact Amanda Huels at or 908-233-0301 ext. 37.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Middle School Mission Trip MEETING

There is a Middle School Mission Trip Parent & Student meeting scheduled for MONDAY, JULY 27 AT 7PM, in the Jim Cole Room. 

At this meeting, you will be receiving important information about the mission trip such as, what to pack, where the students will be working and staying, etc. You'll also get a chance to ask any questions for Amanda Huels (our new Youth Pastor) and meet our advisors!

If you cannot attend this meeting, you will be emailed the packing list and important information that will be handed out at the meeting.

Please email me at if you cannot attend.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

HSMT 2015: Returning TODAY to NJ!

JULY 2, 2015



Parents should meet the flight and drive their student home. If a student's parents are unavailable, they must find another ride IN ADVANCE! Please pick up your student at TERMINAL C and remember to check flight information before leaving for the airport. 


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

HSMT 2015: Messages from Students & Tomorrow's Arrival Information

It was day 3 of work and after our lunch break we basically got to hike up to the top of a hill. I wish I could put into words of how beautiful the sight was. I hiked up to the exact top of the hill with my arms open to life.  Right there I think my whole life mentality changed. I felt alive inside in comparison to the underlying feeling I had  before. I feel like I started life all over again and this sounds fake, but all of this is true. Colorado is truly changing my life.

<3 Z <3

Hey What's Up Guys! Coming to you live from Glen Haven, Colorado, it's Billy Cook! It's been a great week. Lots of hard work, but lots of fun. We've been safe except for Jack Fico getting eaten by a bear. It's okay... he was hogging all the dessert at night anyways. The views are amazing! The food is great even though it is making us gassy! To be completely honest, there is a massive fart war going on in my cabin. I'm leading my room with 7 farts record, but Cotter Spurlock is behind me with 6. Let's just say oxygen content is low in the cabin and it is NOT because of the altitude. Tonight is taco night, so I'm loading up on beans. Thanks for reading the blog!

With Love,
Billy Cook <3

We are having so much fun in Colorado. We are all so tired and i sure am building some muscle (hopefully)! We have been taking military showers or washing in the creek. Water conservation at its finest. The room I'm sleeping in is just about the same as prom house so it was an adjustment for all of us. I am sleeping well (besides some moaning and sleep talking) and yes mom, I am feeling better and eating so well. My family is interesting but really nice. IT is so pretty here - BTW mom...I am packing a puppy (non-shedding of course) to bring home so get pumped!!! (He's WAY CUTE!) I can't wait to get home to see everyone but I want to finish my final few days in Colorado with a bang!

Love you all lots and see you soon!


JULY 2, 2015



Parents should meet the flight and drive their student home. If a student's parents are unavailable, they must find another ride IN ADVANCE! Please pick up your student at TERMINAL C and remember to check flight information before leaving for the airport. 


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

HSMT 2015: How is the group doing?

Hi! Today was great and we got a ton of work done at my site. We are building a retaining wall for a wonderful family that bakes us great sweets. Happy Birthday to Ava since I wont be able to see you! We are doing such great work and can't wait to see you all later!

-Abbey Wilson

Hey Everyone. We're having so much fun in Colorado. Although I miss home I'm meeting a ton of new people. I can't believe this is my last of 4 mission trips but I'm enjoying every second. Shout out to Christy, John, Ellie, and Roxy. Can't wait to see you!

-Audrey Callinan

After three days of work, we finally finished clearing over 3 feet of sand from an older couples' lawn. Their sense of appreciation put some of our group members as well as the older lady of the couple into tears during her closing prayer. Moments like this are exactly why I come and value these mission trips.


***The following sentences are all in fun. HAHA ***

Hey Parents,

It's been a pretty rough few days. I can't keep track any more because the bears ate all of our food. We are also without water. Colorado is lacking our needs. Shabazz is eating snake eggs because we have run out of bunnies. Because of the water shortage, we are showering in our own bodily fluids. SOS! Someone just got trampled by an elk because the advisors ditched us and dared us to tough it out alone in the woods. I think they are partying in the Stanley Hotel, a.k.a. the place where the Shining was filmed.

Amanda is doing a terrible job keeping us in check. I wonder how she will do at church in NJ. We are all jamming to Trampoline Booty because we are trying to have a good time. Please have a lot of food at the airport when we get home and please save us water, we can't wait to taste and feel what water is like.

HSMT Girls 2015

Monday, June 29, 2015

HSMT 2015: Notes from Some Participants

Hello from Colorado! I just wanted to let you all know that we have now had two amazing days in the Rockies. Our camp is definitely remote and rustic but the kids (and adults) are starting to get accustomed to mountain life. They have experienced showering in the stream that runs along the camp, some adventures in weak plumbing and water quality issues due to the floods.

Our kitchen team is amazing and has been making sure we are all well fed and that all our various dietary needs are accounted for.

I'm so grateful for this big class of freshman that have stuck with me in being rookies on this trip. These leaders and upper classmen have done such a good job making everyone feel included and empowered.

Keep praying for us as we finish out our week together. Pray with me that God uses this time in the mountains to reveal to all of us the goodness of Christian fellowship and the purpose of a life lived in service to God and one another.

In Christ,
Amanda Huels

Blog Jawn

Hey, whatsup, hello. You know we're just out here in Colorado.

Yesterday on the worksite I hurt my toe, you know but I still put on a show.

We showered in that river flow and luckily there was no snow, you know 'cus we're in Colorado.

This morning I even saw a crow, and it really made my heart glow.

All we eat for breakfast is cookie dough, so we're gettin' really fat yo.

You know, we're just out here in Colorado!

-Sam Brown & Sophie Martini

Yesterday we visited two sites; a cripple's home and another man's devastated field. However, they were not at all upset when we got there. In the 17 years of life, I've never seen anyone so grateful. You really get the feeling that you're making a difference.

-Jasper Baur

HSMT 2015: Over the Weekend

The group has been working tremendously, even over the weekend!  Some pictures are below, of the group working on June 28 in Glen Haven, Drake & Estes Park, but the majority of pictures can be found on the PCW Youth Facebook page (

Here's a video of Cotter compacting the trash bin...It's important because, well, this is their BEAR PROOF garbage bin and they need to make sure the garbage stays INSIDE so as to not attract the bears! GREAT JOB, COTTER!

Friday, June 26, 2015

More HSMT Pix

HSMT 2015: Some pictures of day 1!

Bendable Jesus says " Hello, from Colorado!"

Van #8 Ready to Go!


Thursday, June 25, 2015


The group has JUST LANDED in Denver, Colorado! Yippee!

Now on to Estes Park, Colorado!

Check back here for updates throughout the week!

Any questions or concerns, please contact Linnette Mercado at or 908-233-0301 ext.22. If you need to reach the group in an emergency situation only, please contact Martha Kieczykowski at 908-963-7531.

HSMT 2015: Update of flight - June 25

Looks like they are almost to Colorado! They should be landing in Denver at 9:57am (Mountain Time) / 11:57am (Eastern Standard Time).

HSMT on their way to Colorado

I received a text message from one of our adult advisors, Linda Habgood, that the group checked in smoothly at the airport and they are well on their way!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

HSMT 2015: Final Reminders

With little to NO internet access in Colorado, the group may only be able to post once a day or they may call me to update this blog. We apologize in advance that we may not be able to post as much as previous trips. 

Important Travel Information:

Departure on June 25
Leave Newark at 7:50am, UA Flight #328Q
Arrive Denver at 9:57am

  • On June 25, please meet at 4:45am at Newark Liberty International Airport, Terminal C, Upper Level, Door #7, wearing your BLUE PDA T-SHIRT. Meet your TRAVEL LEADER at the curb!
  • ALL travelers MUST bring a form of ID. If you are 18 years or older, your form of ID MUST BE either your driver's license or passport.
  • Please pack carefully! You are allowed 2 items, one carry on bag, and one bag to be checked that weighs 50 pounds or less.
  • You will hear from your travel leader prior to Wednesday evening.   If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at

The packing list and important information sheet with travel info can be found and downloaded at


In case of emergency, while on the trip, please contact Martha Kieczykowski at 908-963-7531.

Monday, June 22, 2015

High School Mission Trip 2015 - WEATHER in COLORADO

Participants of the High School Mission Trip: 

Below, is the weather forecast ( as of today, June 22 for your time in Colorado. Please note, it will be raining a lot! 

Please remember to bring a raincoat/poncho! 

I will keep an eye on the weather and post any changes onto this blog.

Friday, June 19, 2015

High School & Middle School Mission Trip Commissioning

This Sunday, June 21 at the 10am worship service in the Sanctuary, we will have the commissioning of the mission trips.

We invite ALL youth & adult participants, their friends and families to take part in this service.

It's simple: During the 10am service, the commissioning will be read.  In short, it states that the participants will do their best to be an example of God's grace, mercy and compassion in their work. The congregation will be asked to simply state "We do." when asked about accepting the commitment of the high school and middle school mission trip student and advisors.

It is a special and important part of sending our students and advisors on these mission trips this summer. We hope you can join us!

And a PLUS, it is YOUTH SUNDAY at the 10am worship service (so you'll already be there!) and afterwards SENIOR CELEBRATION in Assembly Hall. Please consider joining in these events this Sunday!

Questions about Youth Sunday, please contact Courtney Nemec at

Monday, June 15, 2015

HSMT 2015: Prescription Medications

During the parent/student orientation we discussed the medication policy for our upcoming Mission Trip (9 more days till Colorado!)

While we all agree that our students are certainly capable of using their meds at home, in this unusual situation we want to assure you that all meds will be taken as your doctor has ordered. 
Please remember to bring any prescription meds that your student will need for the trip to Linnette Mercado in the PCW Church office, labeled in a zip lock bag with instructions and in the original container (which you will get back)   By Thursday, June 18 by 5pm.  If there are any over the counter meds that your student may need, please send along in a zip lock bag. 
Please contact me if you need to make other arrangements for dropping off meds past that date and certainly I will accommodate!  

We will be bringing the over the counter medications listed on the medical form you completed-  therefore, there is no need to send: Advil, Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, Immodium, Benadryl, Hydrocortisone Ointment.  If you are unsure, please contact me by email   or my cell:  908-578-1759.

Regarding inhalers and EpiPens etc. please have your student carry their inhaler or EpiPen, but please send a "backup"  to Linnette Mercado in the church office or directly to me.  Our experience is that inhalers get lost or left in luggage and are sometimes needed quickly on a work site. Everything will be returned to your student at the conclusion of the trip.

If you have any medical concerns that you would like to relay, please contact me ASAP.  All information will be kept in strict confidence and only shared with your permission with the appropriate adults on the trip.  

Although I am not a nurse, I will do everything I can to make the students comfortable. Please remind your student to let an adult know if they are not feeling well during the trip so we can help and will certainly keep you in the loop.  

Thanks so much!

Janet Smith
908-578-1759 (cell)- call or text is fine

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Go to to find the downloadable IMPORTANT INFORMATION file & the PACKING LIST!

This includes: travel information, emergency contacts and social media updates!

Thank you for packing carefully! 

The mission trip takes off in 15 days!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

High School Mission Trip 2015 Meeting



Important information will be discussed, such as:

  • Travel 
  • Packing List
  • Work Sites
  • Work Groups
  • What to Wear/What NOT to Wear
  • Behavior
  • Etc. Etc. Etc.

If for some reason you cannot attend, please let Linnette know at

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

High School Mission Trip 2015

Registrations are officially open!

When: June 25-July 2, 2015
Location: Estes, Colorado
Who: Students in grades 9-12
Mission: Flood damage recovery

Members of The Presbyterian Church in Westfield: Cost is $950

Non members of PCW: Cost is $1075

All non member applications and registration forms for members and non members may be downloaded at

Deadline is March 20! Please read below, for more information on cost and how to register:

We are excited to begin the registration process for this year’s high school mission trip!  Our trip this year will take us to Estes, Colorado.  We will be responding to a call for disaster recovery assistance for an area hit hard with floods in the fall of 2013.   Register for the trip beginning today, Feb 11th!  Registrations will continue through March 20, when we are required to make binding payments for our air travel.   Members of The Presbyterian Church in Westfield should register with a deposit of $400.00 prior to the March 20 deadline to reserve your space.  No member space will be held without a deposit in the church office.   Non-members of PCW are asked to complete an application and submit to Linnette Mercado, Youth Assistant, in the church office prior to the March 20 deadline.  Non-members will be notified of their acceptance to the mission trip by April 3.  At that point, we will require a non-refundable deposit from non-members who have been accepted.  Balances will be due prior to May 1 for all participants.
 The cost for student participation this year will be $950 for PCW members and $1,075 for non-members.  We understand that this represents a significant increase over the 2013 and 2014 trip prices.  The increase is directly attributable to the increased cost of air travel.  This year we will pay an additional $184 for each airline ticket compared with 2014.  Additionally, as per the last few years, we will be collecting the $50 in baggage fees as a separate cost.    A 2015 HSMT t-shirt will be available for a donation of $10.  The baggage fee and t-shirt donation should be included in your final payment. The money raised from student fees covers about two thirds of the cost of each trip.  In addition to the airfare, the participant cost covers in part, the cost of; food, housing, our project construction materials donation, advisor travel costs, all land transportation costs and other logistical expenses.  Our ability to run these trips rests heavily on the Youth Rebuilding Hope fund raising campaign and the availability of additional Youth Program resources that we, as a Church community, have been blessed with. It is our heart felt goal to provide a fairly priced LIFE CHANGING mission experience while meeting our responsibility as stewards of the Church’s resources and we appreciate your support in this matter.
 Need based, confidential partial scholarships are available.  Applications for financial support are available in the Church office.
 Martha Kieczykowski, marthaqk@gmail.comLisa Dumont, dumonts4@verizon.netCatherine Parker,