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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Mission minded

Youth reach out to people at home and away

Youth can find mission work in their back yards or far away. Clinton Heights Lutheran Church, Columbus, Ohio, found projects in both.

This summer the youth went to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, to help remodel and rebuild two Lutheran churches.


During a car wash to raise money for the trip, two people stopped by with a story of how they became homeless. Using the church phone, the couple called family in Albuquerque, N.M., to get bus fare home.

When the mission-minded youth heard the couple would be on the bus for two days without food money, they gave them $90 from the car wash proceeds.

Two days later the couple called to say they reached home with $12 to spare.

At St. James Lutheran Church, Brunswick, Ga., mission began at home. Holly Talbert, 12, started a food bank at the church. The Jr. LYT (Lutheran Youth Together) bought groceries and then packed the food into boxes for needy people.

The LYFE group at Zion Lutheran Church, Canton, Ohio, is open to fifth- through seventh-graders of all faiths. They meet weekly for mission projects such as CROP Walks, working at soup kitchens, visiting shut-ins and writing to missionaries.

At St. John Lutheran Church, Evansville, Wis., the SOUL TROOP, third- through eighth-graders, wanted to raise $800 for Kosovar refugees. Within 10 days they held a bake sale, took orders for May Day flowers and canvassed the community for donations. With the $1,600 they raised, the paper thermometer that tracks their progress needed to be extended.

After another door-to-door campaign and with a car wash on the way, the thermometer now runs across the narthex ceiling. They have raised $2,490.22 for the refugees.


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