Following the conclusion of the 2022–23 academic year, two student mission teams traveled overseas to begin their summers with service.
From May 13–28, six Cairn students traveled with their group leaders to Spain. They settled and began hosting at La Fuente del Peregrino, or “the Pilgrim’s Fountain.” In their time there, students encountered and served people from all over the world who were traveling the Camino de Santiago, translated as the “Way of Saint James,” a network of pilgrimage passages that ultimately lead to the shrine of the apostle Saint James in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. La Fuente del Peregrino is run by Christians and is one of the few hostels on the Camino run by volunteers and donations. The group interacted with pilgrims from the US, Spain, France, Belgium, Denmark, Taiwan, Japan, Ireland, England, and Canada. Many who stopped in at La Fuente del Peregrino reflected and prayed with the students on the significance of the walk, as well as the connections to Jesus as the true “way” over a dinner each night hosted by the students.
As the Spain group was flying back to the States, another group of students set out to Albania to partner with Fondacioni Jo Gjakmarrjes Po Jetes (“No Blood Feuds, Yes Life Foundation”). They assisted the foundation as they carried out their mission of supporting and encouraging those affected by the blood feuds prominent in Northern Albania. The group aided in running the foundation’s Kids’ Camp, aimed to serve children affected by blood feuds, as they struggle with the loss of family members and breaking away from the ideas perpetuated by blood feuds. Students also had the chance to lead a worship service at a local church in addition to sharing testimonies, reading Scripture, singing worship songs in Albanian, and praying together.