A Convoy to Hope

“A Convoy to Hope,” Malvern’s first Christian Service Trip of the 2022-2023 academic school year, took place in Marianna, Florida. This “Convoy” allowed students to grow spiritually along with making improvements to the Marianna community.


Ryan Todd, Ennis Udo, Editor-in-Chief, Sports Writer

At 5 am Saturday, January 21st, eighteen of our Friars, 16 juniors and 2 seniors, began to wake up to start their early morning trip to the Philadelphia International Airport.


At 6 am, our students made it to the airport on time and began checking bags and going through security. 


During security, we were hindered by Jack Ploszay’s sunscreen and some water bottles, but we made it to our gate and took off on time.


Before we could reach Fort Walton Beach, Florida at 10 am, we had a connecting flight to Charlotte, North Carolina that landed at 7:30 am..


Then, we had a two-hour drive to our final destination, Evangel Church, in Marianna. 


Our first day of work began Monday when students did various tasks to improve the Evangel Church community and their functions.


Perhaps one of the biggest tasks of the week was digging out a “trench” to put in a new irrigation system. This system is now being used to regrow some of the beautiful trees and shrubs that were lost due to Hurricane Ian.


It took 4 days and lots of manual labor until the finished students were able to feel a sense of accomplishment and receive lots of thanks from the church community. 


Each day, a small group of 4 or 5 students was sent into town to work with the Marianna Food Bank. Tasks at the food bank included building a storage shed, preparing meals, and socializing with people in need. 


At the end of each day, students and chaperones gathered in the “common room” for a debrief. The debrief included one of our “non-Malvern” chaperones, Rob And Dustin, sharing their past experiences on how service trips have shaped their lives. 


On one special occasion, Dustin told us how one of his past service trips changed his life. He went on a service trip to protect his wife while she was in another country and said that he fell in love with it. He went on to give his life to God and since then, he has gone on many service trips.


Dustin spoke to us about many different things including the idea of being second place and putting people above yourself. He explained to us how he strives to live a simple life by giving things away to his community Additionally, he explained that no matter how much he gives,  God always repays him with more blessings.


One topic that stood out was the idea of poverty, we all learned that we have some poverty within us. They told us how many people think of poverty as a financial issue, but poverty can be defined in many different ways. One of these ways is poverty within our relationships with God. On our service trip, we were able to share with the group how each of us wanted to grow our relationships with God. 


At the start of the week, many of us felt that we wanted to attend more masses, pray more, and do more for our community.


Marianna kept providing us with new experiences. One of which was attending a mass and several services at the Evangelical church. This denomination was a new experience for all of us. This mass was unlike a typical “Malvern mass,” because for 80% of the hour and a half, we were singing. Many people moved around the church throughout the mass while they sang the songs, and while the pastor was speaking the congregation would respond how they felt out loud by saying something like “amen!” or “that’s right!” 


These services and physical activities helped us to work on the parts of the relationships where we felt we were missing, and a great sense of accomplishment was upon us at the end of the week.


When asked before leaving, “how many of you would do this again?” all of us raised our hands, it was safe to say that this was 100% true.


Throughout this trip, we not only learned new skills through serving but were also able to connect with God and make great memories.