Thoughts from Chris Chatelaine-Samsen, mission pastor at GPC, after returning from their mission trip to Niger.
“I was thrilled that Georgetown Presbyterian Church was able to sponsor a trip to Niger through Remember Niger. We’ve had a long partnership, and it was time to continue to build on that relationship. It was important to me that we grow in depth – we needed to understand not only what Remember Niger does in partnership with the EERN, but who the Nigerien people are, and to see first-hand the devoted work of teachers, administrators, church leaders, and most importantly, students. It was a wonderful opportunity for a variety of reasons. For many of us at Georgetown Presbyterian Church, it was the first time we’d experienced the hospitality of people who are simultaneously so different and so similar – people who live in a different world, and yet hold to the common hope that our children will inherit and contribute to a better world than the one we now possess. Perhaps most of us expected to find just pressing needs to be addressed. Instead, we found families and teachers who are so committed to education that they’re willing to put that goal above everything. We found high-achieving students, as well as teachers and administrators who are hard-working, smart, and resourceful with limited finances.
In the time since we’ve returned, I know that those who were on the trip were moved by the experience and have doubled-down on their commitment to helping Nigeriens access the resources they need to lead and succeed. I also know that our church is even more unquestionably committed to the work that Remember Niger does in partnership with the EERN. We have seen the future up close, and we continue to be inspired.”