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Church team takes trip to Zimbabwe

August 04, 2005

About a dozen members of First Christian Church in Hagerstown recently returned from a three-week trip to Zimbabwe.

They assisted in building a housing unit at the Khayelihle Children's Village, which cares for children whose parents have either left them or died because of the AIDS epidemic.

The Hagerstown church's first funded mission team consisted of a principal, an art teacher, a nurse anesthetist, an electrician, a plumber, an accountant, two high school students, one college student, three carpenters, two retired businessmen and a drywall business owner.

David Lyles, a local contractor and member of First Christian Church, provided three of his skilled workers to travel with the team.

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The missionaries completed the framing and tinning of the home's roof, a 1,000-foot hand-dug trench, laid pipes for plumbing, aided the masons with plastering and bricklaying, and helped with the installation of electrical conduits in the building.

Many of the team members also spent time with the children of the village. They took such things as face paint, balloon animals, jump ropes and bubbles, many of which the children had never seen before.

On July 23, team members were at the church at 1345 Potomac Ave. to share photos, hear stories and view artifacts from Zimbabwe. Donations are being sought to help furnish the building, known as the American House, at the children's village.

There is talk of the team's return to Africa next summer for the home's dedication ceremony.

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