Norvelt teen 'blessed' by first mission trip
Victor Pomarico, 15, of Norvelt came away with a new appreciation of the little things in life after his first mission trip to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
“I learned that I am blessed with what I have. The kids wish they had the simple things like food, clean water, hygiene and education that people here take for granted,” Pomarico said.
He traveled during the week of June 8 with 23 members of Cornerstone Ministries Church in Murrysville.
Pomarico was part of a group that provided a vacation Bible school for approximately 300 children over a four-day period. The school focused on the story of Joshua and Caleb, who put their faith and trust in God.
Gene Ramsey, a member of Cornerstone Ministries who worked with Pomarico on the trip, said the teenager portrayed a giant in the skit of Joshua and Caleb.
In addition, the group provided meals and water to children who attended. Pomarico said their water supply is not safe to drink.
The teen also played basketball with Haitian refugees who populated the area. He said most of the refugees live in an abandoned hospital, where families shared one room of the facility.
There were other sports stations that children of the area could enjoy. Each of his students on the mission organized 25 to 30 Haitian refugee children during the games, Ramsey said.
The children are used to fighting for their position to participate, he added, but Pomarico had the ability to keep his game organized.
“I was proud of Victor, in the way he was able to keep his cool and methodically let each child shoot from the foul line,” Ramsey said.
Although Pomarico has had one year of Spanish schooling, he said he had to adjust to the dialect spoken by the native people of Santo Domingo.
The children were so malnourished and beset by growth deficiencies, it was difficult to determine their ages, he noted. Most of the older teenagers cared for their younger siblings because their parents were deceased, he said.
Pomarico's mother, Sheila, said she was a little nervous, but with the church's great leadership, she knew he would be safe.
If given the chance, he said, he would participate in another mission trip next year. He also would encourage other young people to experience it.
Pomarico said that even though we can't assist everyone, it is important to help. He believes other young people should participate in the eye-opening experiences that mission trips can deliver.
He is the son of Sheila and Victor Pomarico of Norvelt.
Kelly Vernon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-547-5722 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Saturday essay: Waltz of the robins
- Cole outduels Mets rookie, carries Pirates to victory
- Lenape students earn berth in national SkillsUSA competition
- Kittanning Municipal Authority seeks agreement to clarify its role
- Lowly job likely awaits former Pittsburgh police chief after prison
- Police boost efforts to aid child victims in Armstrong County
- Glassport honors native son as polka drummer
- Leader Times staffers recognized for journalism excellence by Press Club
- North Versailles commissioners withhold fire tax funds, cite 1 company’s noncompliance
- Pirates notebook: Stewart, Cole develop rapport
- West Mifflin towing companies defend practices