'Commission' draws a crowd

Are you interested in expanding your worldview? A good way to open up your mind to the reality of another culture is to visit one on a mission trip.

That is exactly what people from all over the United States did this Christmas break. This year over 300 novice and experienced travelers embarked on a mission that changed their hearts and minds. The trip: Commission Unto Mexico. The mission: work and witness.

Most people who attend this week-long journey were surprised to realize that what they had intended to put into the adventure was not nearly as much as they received from Mexico’s culture and its people.

Several people from SNU took the opportunity to go to the heart of Monterrey, Mexico, on this year’s “Commission Unto Mexico.” This year’s “Commission” attendance was the largest in its 15-year history with over 300 American workers.

The jobs ranged from setting foundation and doing VBS with the Mexican children, to helping treat 360 ill patients over the entire week.

As expected, many from the group had a notion of what to expect, and often people had their own assumptions of what they would find in Mexico.

“Americans are surprised to find that Mexicans are disarmingly charming,” Dr. Ken Bryant, SNU's professor of modern languages, said.

This being Bryant’s third year to attend the “Commission,” he has noticed that, “people who go on this trip are surprised to find that they liked it and that they want to go back; the charm of the people and the overflow of love makes you want to return.”

Cassie Ellis, SNU sophomore, has attended the trip three times before, making this her fourth. She described “Commission” as, “a great thing that I would encourage all students from SNU to experience at least once in their lives. You end up learning more about yourself and getting more out of the trip than you feel you’ve put into it.”

Every member from the team takes home a little piece of Mexico in his or her heart from the memory of these loving, kind and gentle people.

You may be wondering, “How much does this cost?” I would encourage you to begin saving now for this $500 week of a lifetime.

Next year’s “Commission unto Mexico” is going back to Monterrey. The dates of the trip are Dec 27 through Jan 3, 2004/2005.

If you are interested in signing up for next year, or wish to receive more information, contact Dr. Howard Culbertson, co-director of “Commission Unto Mexico”: 405-491-6693 or e-mail: hculbert@snu.edu