Youth mission trip leaves impressions

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September 14, 2013 - 12:00 AM

“I love doing for the Lord,” Mackenzie Weseloh, a bubbly Iola High student, told Iola Rotarians Thursday. “It’s so much fun.”
She and Karlie Lower gave their impressions of a mission trip Wesley United Methodist Church’s youth group took to Atlanta in July, under the direction of Lori Cooper, the church’s youth minister.
Lower said she “learned we need to be close to God” and be appreciative of “all He does for us.”
The mission trip was the church’s third in as many years, each with the same basic goals, to help homeless folks and kids attending boys and girls clubs, all the while witnessing to those they touch and fortifying themselves spiritually.
This time around the traveling party included 22 youths, all either in high school on going to be in the fall, and five adults, “who probably got as much out of the experience, maybe more, than the youths,” Cooper said.
In preparation for the trip, the youths performed mission tasks locally, helping with Hope Unlimited’s goals of serving people — mainly women and children in abusive situations — and doing such things as recognizing public employees’ service to the community.
“This was the best part of the summer for me,” said Weseloh. “I’d been looking forward to the mission trip all year.”
Lower learned that not everyone has choices at mealtime.
“I learned I shouldn’t complain about what we have at home after seeing what homeless people have to deal with,” Lower said.
The girls also discovered, while doing yard work for an elderly woman, that mosquitoes in Georgia are different than those in Kansas. Holding her thumb and forefinger in circle, Lower said that was the size of the area affected on her arm by a mosquito bite.
A mission trip to New Orleans is in planning stages for 2014.
In another Iola project, Cooper said WUMC would resume commodity distributions this morning from 9 to 11 a.m. at the church, 301 E. Madison Ave.
A program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, The Emergency Food Assistance Program helps supplement diets of low-income needy people, including the elderly.
Cooper said in the initial distribution, all who want to participate would have to fill out an income eligibility form, with verification from such things as a Vision card, an employer pay stub or bank statement. Those who complete the form the first month won’t have to again.

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