Junior Aubrey Barton of Salisbury
- What was your favorite experience on this trip?
“There were a lot of meaningful experiences on this trip. The most meaningful and emotional experience for me, however, was our visit and impromptu performance at the church (Weis Kirsche) in the meadow. The church and the scenery surrounding it were beautiful. We were told that this church was a Catholic Pilgrimage Church built for healing. I am not Catholic, but my Nana was. My Nana was a beautiful lady inside and out. She was overtaken with the disease Alzheimer’s and passed away about a week before we came on this trip. I had been so busy that I hadn’t given myself time to grieve and was holding guilt for not seeing her as much as I could have. Coming to the little church in the meadow gave me an overwhelming feeling of peace in this situation, and I feel as if by being there I was honoring her, as if I now knew she was at peace with Christ, completely healed with her full mind back, smiling down on me. As we left, I bought a rosary to lay at her grave sight when I return home. It was a moving experience, one that I will never forget.”
- How has your perspective changed on this trip?
“On this trip, my eyes were opened to an entire beautiful world. Everywhere we went was more beautiful and reflected the enormity of God’s glory. Most of all, I realized that no matter where in the world you are. You and I are not the different from those who are around us. Everyone in the world can be connected by love and gratitude that each one of use can live out in our daily lives. Language and cultural barriers are broken down when people show genuine care and appreciation for each other, which was shown in every one of our concerts. It didn’t matter that we didn’t speak the same language. We touched the audience and they touched us. Loving and caring actions and attitudes unite all of us. All of God’s children, his church that expands across what we ourselves can fathom.”
- What have you learned through your experiences?
“Aside from the culture on this trip, I learned to cherish every moment I’ve been given. This lesson was evident throughout the entire trip, but was especially evident to me at Dachau. Here I discovered one of the very places where people were oppressed for their beliefs and torn away from their families in a single moment. Visiting Dachau and actually standing in the courtyard, made me really think though that something as horrible as what happened at Dachau may never happen again, at any moment, something could occur in our own lives that changes it forever. So, we must remember to treasure every moment we are given somewhere or with someone, and take very chance around us --reach out and touch the lives of those around us.