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AdventHealth Manchester, the only AdventHealth global mission site in the United States, recently hosted 45 high school students from Highlands Academy and Madison Academy for a two-day mission trip. Madison Academy has been organizing mission trips since 1986, and this year was no exception. The students completed three projects during their stay, significantly impacting the lives of those they helped.
One of the projects was at the home of Rodney and Brittany Gay, who have lived in Bull Skin for seven years. The couple had experienced the impact of flooding, with four feet of water in their basement that ruined all of the mechanical workings in their home. In the aftermath of the flooding, they received help from churches and their foster agency. The couple had a foster son with cerebral palsy, who they were hoping to adopt. He required a wheelchair occasionally and had difficulty getting up and down the front steps of their home. Highlands Academy and Madison Academy students built a ramp with a little extension porch to make it easier and safer for their foster son to use his walker, wheelchair, and cane.
Additionally, the students were able to provide help to two other families during their trip. First was Mr. Sherman Asher, who has lived in his home for 22 years. Highlands Academy and Madison Academy students fixed his back and front porches to make it easier for him to use his wheelchair. Mr. Sherman was grateful for their help, as he didn't have the necessary support to complete these projects. He thanked the hospital for helping to connect him with people to help him and was glad that the young men and women were learning to give back.
Second were Frank and Ellen Collins. Mr. Collins had a stroke in May 2023 and had to move to a trailer park after his previous home caught fire. The couple was grateful for the help from the mission crew, as they had spent so much money on the project and had even had some of their belongings stolen. The Highlands Academy and Madison Academy teams were a tremendous financial, mental, and physical help to this beautiful couple.
These stories show the Highlands Academy and Madison Academy students' impact during their four-day mission trip with AdventHealth. They completed three projects and made a big difference in the lives of those they helped in a small amount of time. We are proud to have been a part of this mission trip and look forward to future opportunities to serve our community.