Junior equestrian studies major Hannah Compton ‘14, Equestrian Program Director Joanne Young, and Houghton alumna Jaime Ramsey ‘09, visited and served Camp Monteblanco in Comarapa, Bolivia from January 1 to January 12, 2013.
Over the two week period, Compton, Young and Ramsey worked with three Monte Blanco horses at the camp, attempting to gentle them and ready the animals for future use by the campers.
The team also regularly served in the camp kitchen, which provided food for over 200 campers in several three-day camp experiences. They painted the interior of an adobe cabin for the incoming camp programs director, and encouraged the Bolivian staff in their mission by leading a staff devotional between camps.
“I originally went down planning to work with the horses,” says Compton, “but soon found out that my help was needed elsewhere.”
The trip also included a visit to the nearby Manos de Amor orphanage. The team brought baked goodsand t-shirts and enjoyed a concert performed by the orphans and the orphanage “parents,” a Bolivian pastor and his wife.
“The orphanage had been suffering financially, as their founder and representative missionary recently died of cancer,” says Young, “Even though local Bolivians were donating some food and pesos, donations were not meeting current expenses. We were blessed to be able to make a donation to cover the gap.”
Compton had the opportunity to give a presentation to the camp staff at the end of their stay. Through stories and pictures of Compton’s own horse, Eli, a $10 “throw-a-way” horse Compton and her father rescued over four years ago and successfully gentled and trained, she shared how God values and plans for every life in his creation.
Young reminisces, “Hannah's presentation touched hearts, opened communication with Bolivian staff, and helped us all deepen our walk with God.”
“Houghton helped me by making connections,” says Compton of her reflection of the trip, “By being a servant and being able to think outside the box and adapt to help wherever, whenever.”