From May 13–28, six Cairn students traveled with their group leaders to Spain on a mission trip. They settled and began hosting at La Fuente del Peregrino, or “the Pilgrim’s Fountain.” In their time there, students encountered and served people from all over the world who were traveling the Camino de Santiago, translated as the “Way of Saint James,” is a network of pilgrimage passages that ultimately leads to the shrine of the apostle Saint James in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.
As these pilgrims from both nearby cities or faraway countries made their journey to the shrine, the students were able to interact with hundreds of these sojourners at La Fuente del Peregrino, which functions as a stop for rest and refreshment along the Camino de Santiago. La Fuente del Peregrino, a hostel under the Christian organization called Agape, is one of the few on the Camino run by volunteers and donations. The simple offering of whatever the travelers may have needed also provided an opportunity to get to know many of them. The group interacted with pilgrims from the US, Spain, France, Belgium, Denmark, Taiwan, Japan, Ireland, England, and Canada. Many who stopped in at La Fuente del Peregrino reflected and prayed with the students on the significance of the walk, as well as the connections to Jesus as the true “way” over a dinner each night hosted by the students.
Student Joshua Hoagland reflects on the mission trip:
“I feel like the world is right at your doorstep. It’s a really great opportunity to meet people from all over the world. I really enjoy trying to communicate in languages that I don’t know personally. I think it’s a great way to be bold for Jesus, be bold for Christ, and it’s a great experience overall. It’s a very special ministry. God is definitely at work here and I really appreciate getting to be part of the ministry and furthering God’s kingdom.”
Not only did the team engage with travelers of the Camino, but they themselves were able to traverse and complete the Camino de Santiago, frequently running into those they had met with earlier at La Fuente del Peregrino. After walking roughly 70 miles, they arrived at the Cathedral, bringing their mission trip into a full-circle moment.