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 (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1512243042323644/)

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!

MORE PICTURES CAN BE FOUND ON THE PCW YOUTH FACEBOOK PAGE! IF YOU ARE NOT IN THE CLOSED GROUP (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1512243042323644/) , PLEASE FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK AND I CAN ADD YOU! https://www.facebook.com/limercado

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 lmercado@westfieldpc.org 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 lmercado@westfieldpc.org

The packing list and important information sheet with travel info can be found and downloaded at http://www.westfieldpc.org/connect-with-pcw/youth/


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 (www.weather.com) 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 courtrnemec@aol.com.

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 JNS202@aol.com   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 http://www.westfieldpc.org/connect-with-pcw/youth/ 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!