Youth group to enjoy a meaningful Spring break

PERU Fourteen members of the Peru Community Church Senior High Youth Group and their four chaperones wont be celebrating Easter with their families on April 8th. Instead, at 5:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday theyll be boarding vans to travel to Washington DC to participate in the youth groups Senior High Mission Experience. From Monday through Thursday theyll be assisting in food banks, soup kitchens, daycare centers and homeless shelters. One evening theyll distribute food in a park. The Peru Community Church has sponsored this program for 25 years. On March 25th the teens and their parents met with youth group advisors Doug Garrand, Christina Zielinski and Amanda Connelly to ask questions and to learn what will be expected of them. They learned that the young peoples days would usually start at 5:30a.m. Mornings and early afternoons will be spent serving food to the needy and homeless, sorting donated food, working with students in a daycare center and distributing food in parks. One morning, after serving breakfast for So Other Might Eat (S.O.M.E.) an interfaith organization serving the homeless, the young people will participate in a social justice program presented by S.O.M.E. and serve lunch to over 300 homeless. Theyll get to work alongside homeless at the D.C. Kitchen where homeless people participate in a food service training program. Following evening dinner the young people will have time to discuss their days experiences and to close the day with Bible study. The experience will not be all work and no play. In late afternoons, there will be time to tour the Smithsonian and other attractions. On Tuesday evening theyll attend a dinner theater. Friday morning at 4:30a.m. theyll arise, eat breakfast and head home. Reflecting on his experience as a chaperone on the D.C. trips, Youth Group Advisor Doug Garrand says, One of the things that students always talk about is the overwhelming number of people that are homeless and theyre able to do such a small part. The thing that we really reinforce is what youre coming away with. You want to give and help as much as you can. You come away with the sense that it takes a lot of people do something like this. Some of the students have made as many as three previous mission trips. They spoke about the wonderful friendships they have formed over the years. The advisors and students expressed thanks for the support from all the people who donated money, time and effort to make their trip a reality. The recent Karen Mason Steve Collier concert provided a major portion of the funds needed for the trip.

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