Church group heads to Guatemala

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Adriana Dueck – The Corsair

The Northridge Church’s Fusion 8 youth group is enthusiastically gearing up for an Aug. 8-18 overseas missions trip to Antigua, Guatemala.

While in Guatemala the 19-member group of students and adults will take part in the Living Waters International Feed-a-Child program, staying at the Quiche Ministry Center and working as volunteers in Antigua and an as-yet-unnamed city in the mountains of Guatemala.

Their efforts will be welcomed. According to www.ruralpoverty.org, 71 percent of Guatemala’s rural population – mostly indigenous people – live in poverty. There are pockets of poverty in other areas, as well as a “poverty belt” that runs across the northern and northwestern regions. Those areas were severely affected by more than 30 years of civil war which ended only in the mid-1990s.

“I’ve been preparing myself by working with the 17 teenagers I will be taking on this trip by fundraising and being a liaison between the church and the ministry we’ll be staying with,” Northridge Pastor Randy Hamil said.  “We’ve had quite a success with the fundraisers just being done at our church and have already raised over $5,000.”

“I’m totally excited for this trip because I’ve never been out of the country or pretty much anywhere outside the southern United States,” said Bethany Kolb, a freshman at Pace High School and a member of the Fusion 8 team.

Bethany knows the culture will be quite different.

“The girls have to wear long skirts because if you go into the city with shorts on you’re considered a hooker,” she said.

Alex Hillburn, a freshman at Central School has been preparing for the trip by doing yard work for friends and relatives and has also been helping his mother around the house to earn some extra cash.

“We’re going to be serving food and helping people get tree limbs out of their yards and other activities like that,” he said.

Bethany Steelman, a homeschooled sophomore, has taken a slightly different approach in preparing for the trip.

“I’ve started walking everyday and different exercises to prepare for this trip,” she said. “The air is really thin in the mountains, so you have to be fit. I can’t wait to get there and start doing things to help people less fortunate than I am.”

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