Thirteen UGA Students accompany our FOCUS Missionaries and Catholic Center priests on a mission trip to Lima, Peru. They helped to build a set of stairs and act as Christ through the encounters they shared with the locals in Pamplona, Peru. (March 2023)

This March 2023, thirteen of our students accompanied our FOCUS Missionaries and our priests to Lima, Peru where they served in a small village called Pamplona, building stairs and greeting the locals with a Christ like love. They encountered many smiling faces and welcoming arms despite the living circumstances. 

The locals in Pamplona live in houses that are closer to the size of a single bedroom here in the United States. The roofs of their tin houses are held on by rocks, their restrooms are often just holes in the ground and they make long treks up and down the mountain on unsteady gravel and rocks. 

This is where are students were able to step in and help by spending their week mixing cement, framing stairs, filling them in and slowly building a pathway for the locals to walk up and down with ease. 

“Peru was a time to walk with our students as we encountered Christ in the poor. It was a time of prayer, reflection, community and service. We had fun together as a group while also encountering the harsh reality of the plight of God’s children.” Fr. Brian McNavish says. 

FOCUS has led several mission trips to Lima, Peru over the years and has formed a relationship with the community down there. One of our FOCUS missionaries, Daniela Cadenas, joined the group on the trip making this her second time serving in Pamplona. 

“This Spring Break we had the opportunity to encounter and serve God in the people of Pamplona, an impoverished area outside of Lima, Peru. Our task was to build stairs but our purpose of being there wasn’t actually about the stairs at all. Valuing relationships over efficiency we experienced a great joy, freedom and closeness to the Lord unlike ever before! My heart is forever changed by the ways I was loved by the Lord and his people in Peru!”

Several students opted into serving for their spring break despite many other opportunities. “Peru was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life thus far.” Cecilia Nilsson, CSA President, says. “It was truly eye opening to the world around me and something I will always remember. I lived true freedom in the simple life, experiencing what our hearts are made for!” 

Danny Fisher, FOCUS missionary, shared, “Bringing the light of the gospel to the locals in Peru and seeing their joyful responses gave me so much hope and a deeper insight on the Lord’s nearness to all of us!”

We are so proud of our students and their choice they made to serve and love those less fortunate than us. And a big thank you to our FOCUS missionaries for leading our students on this trip.