I have been attending the MATE mission trips since I was in middle school, for a total of five trips. It was the first time I traveled to another state to help others; it soon became a passion. I have served numerous people on each trip, doing repairs that homeowners could not accomplish themselves.
What I love most about MATE is how it reaches so many people. I thought the work was limited to the town of Farmington, but we also went to neighboring towns. MATE showed me how far the church will go to serve their neighbors. Outreach gives hope that propels us forward as Christians and keeps our faith strong.
MATE gave me the opportunity to interact with all kinds of people that I would normally not meet. I didn’t know many people who struggled financially and was ignorant to the problems that could present. Furthermore, I never talked with other volunteers about their reasons for helping and about their lives. Attending MATE trips allowed me to speak with homeowners who shared their experiences, their wishes for the future, and how the work we do affects lives. Meeting other people through MATE made me feel at home, and I connected with other volunteers through our mutual desire to help. Meeting the people of Maine and my fellow volunteers taught me the importance of empathy and gratitude and reminded me of God calling me to serve.