Kingwood Christian Church group returns to Grenada
- Written by Jeffry Tupa
Cutlines: St. Patricks Anglican Parish in Grenada in March. Dave Wallis of Kingwood Christian Church pauses for a photo with representatives of the Grenada Tourist Board during a prior trip. Galveston, Aspen or Cancun are destinations that might come to mind for a spring break trip, but a group of 20 from the Kingwood area are embarking on a less typical journey. Kingwood Christian Church is sponsoring its second bi-annual mission trip to Grenada. Known as the Island of Spice because of its production of nutmeg, Grenada is an island country consisting of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique in the southeastern Caribbean Sea. While there, the group will partner with St. Patricks Parish of the Anglican Church to support its church and school in improvement projects and participate in cultural programs. Participants from Kingwood Christian Church include teenagers and adults, with the youngest being 13. Our mission trip to Grenada two years ago was a wonderful and enlightening time for my family, said Dave Wallis, an IT professional who is going on the trip again in 2014. We had the opportunity to build a computer lab for a school, do some construction and cleaning in some local churches, and start a womens support group. Most importantly, we had a chance to interact with some very warm and gracious people, many of whom have now become our good friends. The experience expanded our vision and our hearts beyond what we see in our daily lives, said Wallis. This year, the groups focus includes constructing new pews and storage areas for the church, improving its electrical system, and upgrading the schools computer lab by networking computers and printers and loading updated software. The group will also share members musical talents by performing at a school assembly and in a gospel concert. In addition, they will participate in opening ceremonies for the St. Patricks Day Festival. The trip is March 7- 17. Members of the Grenadian church will host activities for the visiting Texans, including a barbecue on Bathway Beach featuring the national dish of Oil-down. Oil-down is a stew of breadfruit, salted meat or chicken, coconut milk and spices. Real FM Grenada (a local radio station) is sponsoring the barbecue and in 2012 even broadcast a church service from Kingwood Christian Church to the entire nation of Grenada. The partnership between Kingwood Christian and St. Patricks Parish exists because in 1991, Kingwood High School and TCU graduate Lindy Nelson was assigned to teach at the school in the city of Sauteurs, while serving in the Peace Corps. She met and married another teacher, Ryan Paryag. As a family, the Nelson-Paryags have made their home in Kingwood since 1994. We were able to awaken the gifts that existed in that church, Ryan Nelson-Paryag said. We saw that it doesnt take a huge amount of resources to really make a difference in others lives. As a result of us going there, the womans group in particular has been energized again. The couple said being warmly welcomed and appreciated will never be forgotten. They were just blown away that we care enough to come and help, Lindy Nelson-Paryag said.