While many take the summer as a time to relax, college student and Hebron resident Ben Hintz took it as an opportunity to serve in missions.
The sophomore visited Peru a little over three weeks through the group Fellowship of Catholic University Students, an organization that works with college campuses across the nation, including the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.
“Seeing the people there was extremely inspiring, especially up in the mountains” said Hintz. “These people don’t have much of anything but they are so grateful for what they do have. I had a moment of realizing that I have so much but I’m not thankful and these people are so happy.”
In particular, he recalls being humbled after seeing one native boy who wore the same pair of jeans every day while he had packed many.
The trip was split into two parts. The first was to a small city in the mountains called Isevilla.
“Our main mission was to go door to door and talk to families,” said Hintz. “Usually it was a mother and her little children.”
The volunteers would then invite people to evening events where they would hold activities for children and a religious service. On the last day there, the group held mass and baptized 42 babies and children.
“It was only their fourth religious service that entire year,” said Hintz.
The second village, San Gaban, was located in the jungle, over a 10,000 foot drop in elevation from Isevilla.
There, while part of the group continued their door-to-door invites, the rest of the volunteers stayed to fix up the church such as painting, sanding the doors and “making it look more presentable,” said Hintz.
San Gaban, Hintz remembered, hadn’t had a priest or pastor there in 18 years and was glad the group had been able to share their faith with the villagers.
“We were able to understand how deprived some areas of the world still are and were able to tell them about Christ,” said Hintz.