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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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How I spent ...

my summer helping others

"Back to school" often means writing a "What I did during summer vacation" essay. Here's one report from Nebraska:

Thirty youth and adults from the Nebraska Synod gathered in Lincoln, Neb., for Junction '98 to learn leadership skills and do a servant project.

Our project happened on the outskirts of Lincoln, where we painted a house given to the Roman Catholic church. This small, older house will be used for the Spanish-speaking population as a food pantry and to occasionally house families for a night or two.

On the first night, we met some of the people who will use this house — Spanish-speaking youth who recently moved to the United States.

We had an authentic Mexican dinner followed by a Bible study in both English and Spanish. That study was an eye-opener for everybody. We could actually communicate without knowing each other's language.

The last day we created a worship service in Spanish and English. We prayed that we might take Junction '99 to Mexico to make friends and work together as youth united in Christ.

Junction is one of our synod's youth leadership training opportunities each summer. We've built outdoor worship sites and renovated safe houses for past projects. Over the years many friendships have grown, and Junction graduates now serve on our Lutheran Youth Organization board and in other synod leadership positions.


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