Barhamand '77 Brings Church Congregation to Alma Mater

A tradition of service is paramount to Mount Mercy’s mission, and no one knows that better than Board of Trustee member Barbara Barhamand ’77, whose church youth group traveled to Cedar Rapids to assist with flood relief and bunked in Mount Mercy’s residence halls during their pilgrimage.

After the catastrophic June 2008 floods, Barhamand and several native Iowans in her congregation, Knox Presbyterian Church in Naperville, Illinois, immediately chose Cedar Rapids for their next service location. The congregation has sent its youth on out-of-state mission trips for 30 years, and Barhamand was excited at the possibility of serving in Cedar Rapids. Barhamand and a team of 80 high school students, 30 adults, and a dozen college students worked at rebuilding houses and landscaping yards during a week in June.

The mission trip, dubbed “Go & Serve,” produced satisfying results for the volunteers. “I find the experience to be so personally gratifying that I look forward to it every year,” says Barhamand, whose outlook on service was fostered early in life. “My sense of service started with my grandmother, then through my church youth group and 4-H Club,” says Barhamand.