Plans missionary trip to Romania while gaining world perspective
by Frida Valdés, Feature Editor
While many may travel during summer vacations, spend time with friends, or sleep more, Charles Guest, freshman, will travel to Romania in order to provide families in need with medical and school supplies.
Assisting Romanian families
C. Guest, along with other religious missionaries, helps plan trips to Romania that will provide disadvantaged families with supplies, food and anything they need.
“The plan is to help kids, so they go to the school for free and they get two meals a day there, they get good teachers, and they get an education, which normally they couldn’t get. Usually the two meals they get that day are the only two meals they’re going to get that day,” C. Guest said.
At Community Presbyterian Church (CPS) of Mount Prospect, C. Guest helps plan annual trips to rural areas in Romania, which take place during the summer.
Richard Corso, grandfather of C. Guest, has travelled to Romania and will take C. Guest along with church missionaries.
“They originally started at different places, and then they kind of just went to Romania by itself; Romania is in general a good place since they came out of a dictatorship,” C. Guest said.
Debra Guest, mother of C. Guest, also participated in this community project while in high school.
“They always like to bring younger faces because whenever they go, it’s always older people, and the little kids don’t really get to see a young American boy or girl; its usually what they enjoy seeing,” C. Guest said.
Brian Guest, father of C. Guest, appreciates his son’s dedication towards reaching out to the community.
“We’re really proud of him; any parent would be happy to see their son or daughter, you know, put other people’s needs in front of their own; even if only temporarily…it kind of validates that as a parent that we’re doing the right thing,” B. Guest said.
Currently, C. Guest helps the church members by spreading awareness about this cause and encouraging people to donate.
According to C. Guest, sometimes a doctor comes along with the church missionaries.
“Before they go, I usually help them make sure they have everything they need to go, money…translation…supplies; general medicine,” C. Guest said.
The trip lasts two to three weeks, and companies, along with other churches give donations and supplies to members of the CPC.
“They’ve built a school from scratch, so they’ve done mission trips to give them medical supplies. They’ve brought doctors over, and they help the more needing families with sometimes just chores,” C. Guest said.
Since sixth grade, C. Guest has cleaned Palatine road at least three times a year.
C. Guest has worked on over eight Eagle Scout, church and out-of-school service projects, such as cleaning out rivers.
C. Guest wanted to become an Eagle Scout before age 18 and has worked on this goal since first grade.
“Not everything is that bad; it’s just you have to think that eventually, if you work hard enough it’ll be good. I felt like if I had a goal and stuck to that goal, anything’s possible, and it worked, and the hard thing is that other people have not stuck to those goals, so they take more of their time,” C. Guest said.
Corso plays an important role in his life and provides him with support.
“He’s helped me throughout my whole scouting career. He’s taught me important lessons, even though he might be a little nutty at times. He’s going to camp with me, even though he’s over the age of 60. He’s hiked a mountain and he’s just there; he helps,” C. Guest said.
Because Corso has diabetes, Guest takes care of him whenever his grandmother is not present; this has helped create a bond between them.
“Whenever he comes by us, I have to take care of him, make sure he’s okay because whenever I come, my grandma’s not there, so it’s my job. Sure I’d like to be like him; I’d like to have his personality. It’s not like it’s abnormal. Everyone should have a bond like that with their grandparents; they’re family,” C. Guest said.
According to C. Guest, he would not have accomplished everything he has so far without his grandfather.
“I wouldn’t be an Eagle Scout; I wouldn’t be doing any of the things I’ve done. I’d just be someone in a game of life that doesn’t really do anything,” C. Guest said.
C. Guest’s parents have always taught him to “do the right thing,” which has influenced his desire to help others.
“His mother and I have both told him it’s very important to support other people and to help other people because he’s definitely benefited from a lot of things that other people don’t get that he’s taken for granted, but instead of that, he’s helping other people out,” B. Guest said.
B. Guest feels content about that family bond because he also had a similar relationship with his own grandfather.
Spending time with his grandparents has positively influenced C. Guest, according to B Guest.
“I was very close to my grandfather so I’m very happy that his grandfather is involved and doing stuff that I may not have the time to do or may not have the ability to do as well as he does,” B. Guest said.
“Once you go to a place that has less than you, it turns everything you think around; it makes you feel like the little things that you think are small, it makes them bigger for you. You enjoy the little things more because you see that they don’t have those little things,” C. Guest said.
C. Guest wants to learn more about the Romanian language and culture.
“I feel like it’s a lot better than being in a culture class and reading out of a textbook about the culture. I feel like if you’re going to learn about it, you should feel it,” C. Guest said.
When asked if he could only take one thing with him, C. Guest said, “something that has pictures to show because I feel like if I show a kid that is not in Romania that may not be as fortunate as I am, they can see some of the great things you can do.”