Taking hold of a dream, members of the Escalon Covenant Church getting ready to head to Mexicali on a mission trip will be packing a few extra shirts this year.
The mission team – with more than 30 adults and kids – is made up primarily of Covenant Church members with a few from Escalon Presbyterian. They will be working at four churches in Mexicali over the Spring Break for Escalon High School and they are taking something extra special with them.
Roxane Busch, whose children Taylor and Trenton are both going on the mission trip, said it was a dream of the late Jamie LaRossa to take specially designed T-shirts to all the youngsters the mission team will be in contact with during their time in Mexicali.
“Basically Jamie LaRossa had always donated flooring from the company he worked for (Flooring Liquidators) to do construction projects on the churches that we serve in Mexicali. This year no flooring was needed so he came up with the idea to donate shirts,” Busch explained. “He didn’t just want the team to get them; he wanted the kids and adults that participate in Vacation Bible School to get them as well.”
When LaRossa unexpectedly passed away in January – having already started the T-shirt design – friends knew they couldn’t leave the project undone. Busch spearheaded the campaign and said community donations poured in to help pay for the T-shirts.
“The (mission) team will be getting their shirts Sunday morning before they are commissioned in front of the congregation,” Busch said of the presentation set for March 29 at Escalon Covenant Church. “They will then take the rest of the shirts down with them on Good Friday, and hand them out to both adults and kids that participate in Vacation Bible School.”
Members of the mission team will be doing a variety of work at the churches and in the community, with some specialized concrete work anticipated as well as general maintenance and putting on the VBS for hundreds.
“The team has had a long tradition of letting the Vacation Bible School kids sign their shirts the day before they leave to come back home. Jamie thought it would be awesome to have the kids get shirts as well so the team could sign their shirts,” Busch explained, adding that he had been working on the design in anticipation of the Spring Break trip.
“Once he passed I knew I wanted to finish the project for him,” she added. “I was able to get donations from church friends, family, and friends of Escalon Sports Boosters to help cover the cost.
“Jamie was such a wonderful man with a huge heart; I can’t wait to see the pictures of the kids getting the shirts in Mexico.”
The shirts, emblazoned with the words ‘Una Familia En Cristo’ – One Family In Christ – will serve as a reminder of LaRossa’s love for the mission projects and be a special keepsake for members of this year’s team.
The T-shirt total cost was about $2,200 and Busch said she was overwhelmed by the response when they started the drive to finance the project.
“This community is incredible, so supportive,” she said.