One of the most common things people hope to do in retirement is travel! At Garden Spot Village Travel with Purpose trips combine experiencing new cultures with volunteering. Travel with Purpose trips also create a deeper sense of community as team members and residents travel and serve together.
The trips often include deeper community support as well. People throughout Garden Spot Village, although they may not be the ones who travel, connect through financial, material or prayer support.
In 2016, Garden Spot Village began to partner with CURE International, a network of hospitals that offer life-changing surgeries to children. In 2016 and 2017 teams went to the Dominican Republic; in 2018 and 2019, teams traveled to Kijabe, Kenya. The next trip to Kenya is tentatively scheduled for January 2021. To achieve the goal of experiencing culture in the midst of serving, each trip includes an immersive experience like a photo safari.
United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM)
Garden Spot Village also connected with United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) to support relief and rebuilding efforts. In late April 2018, a group of team members and residents traveled to Tarboro, North Carolina, to partner with UMVIM. In March 2019, a second team went. We are hoping to go a third time sometime in the near future.
Over the past 15 years Garden Spot Village residents partnered with a variety of organizations. Residents helped to rebuild homes for Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) projects in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and in New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy. Residents also helped to frame homes that were trucked to Cordova, Alabama, and New Iberia, Louisiana, for onsite building with MDS.
Between 2009 and 2019, teams traveled to the mountains outside Tegucigalpa, Honduras six times to help the local churches build a mountain camp and retreat in conjunction with Missions Door.