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Youth on a mission

August 22, 2005

For the second year in a row, middle- and high-schoolers from St. John's Lutheran Church in Hagerstown traveled to Newport, Tenn., for a week of service, fellowship, worship and music.

Newport is an impoverished Appalachian community where about half the working-age population is unemployed.

The group left Sunday, June 26, accompanied by adult chaperones Youth Ministry Coordinator Debbie Jo Kline and Tim Waeyaert.

The mission trip was coordinated through Youthworks, a nonprofit, nondenominational organization. Through a variety of service opportunities, the volunteers build relationships with other youth volunteers and the community they traveled to serve.

Youth volunteers helped with Kids Club, a Vacation Bible School held in a local park, volunteered in a nursing home and helped at a local thrift store/food bank.

"It was a week away from the trappings of home - TV, video games. For many, it is an eye-opening, life-changing experience," Kline said.

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