Nineteen year old Eric Medina has big plans for the summer. He is leaving his family, friends and all that is familiar for the first time and heading oversees on a two-week mission trip to Tanzania, Africa. Whether he is serving in his church (Sequoia Baptist Church) during Vacation Bible School, dinner theater, youth band or the annual Christmas living nativity or simply helping out in the community, Eric has always had a deep desire to go wherever God calls him. So it was no surprise then that Eric responded with an emphatic “yes” when he felt God tugging on his heart to go to Africa this coming summer to teach the people of Tanzania about faith while helping with various types of construction.
One of the requirements for the mission trip participants is to raise their own funds for the trip - $3.033. As a busy full-time student and part-time employee, Eric has had to come up with creative ways to raise such a large amount of money. To date, Eric has fundraised for his trip, through sponsor letters, selling Tupperware and holding a garage sale which proved to be extra beneficial as people not only bought sale items but also made unexpected donations when they learned what the garage sale was for.
Even one of the local restaurants is getting in on the action to help Eric raise money for his trip to Africa. The Main Street Café has committed to making a donation from now until May 23 every time a customer orders a meal and shows this article or a copy of Eric’s Mission Trip Flyer which has been quickly circulating around town and can also be received by emailing Ericmedina101089@yahoo.com.
Along with the funds needed to go to Africa, the mission group at Sequoia Baptist Church is also in need of Bibles to share and old suite cases which will be used to carry material for constructing desks needed in Tanzania. Over the next few weeks, Eric and other mission participants will be attended a workshop where they will learn how to properly assemble the desks once they arrive in Africa.
With the trip still a few months away, Eric has been preparing his immune system by receiving five of the six shots needed so far, in order to avoid contracting common diseases in Africa such as hepatitis, malaria, rabies, typhoid, teanus-diptheria, measles and polio.
For a young man who has never ventured far from his home town of Manteca, going to Tanzania, Africa is a huge step, but one that Eric is most willing to take as he believes it is his calling at this time to respond to Mathew 28:19-20. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
While mission trips may be fairly common, seeing a teen-ager such as Eric Medina take personal responsibility to raise money in order to share God’s love with people he doesn’t know and in a country he’s never been to, is simply amazing.
If you would like to get information on how you can help support Eric Medina and Tanzania mission trip send an email to Ericmedina101089@yahoo.com. You can also show your support for Eric by bringing this article to The Main Street Café (1351 N Main St.) and ordering a meal.
Monica Cane Correspondant for the Manteca Bulletin