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Local teens help Conn. families

Katie Curler of North Ferrisburgh holds the ladder for Bob from Pennsylvania as they work on a home during the United Methodist Youth Mission trip last month.

Katie Curler of North Ferrisburgh holds the ladder for Bob from Pennsylvania as they work on a home during the United Methodist Youth Mission trip last month.

— North Ferrisburgh United Methodist Church members transported nine Addison County teens to Connecticut to work on mission project July 27.

The Vermont missionaries were part of the United Methodist Action Reach-Out Mission by Youth which included 90 teens and 50 adults working with elderly and low-income residents of Hartford, Conn.

Daniel Emmell, an 8th grader at Mt. Abraham Union High School, Felicia Armell an 8th grader at Vergennes Union High School and Hannah Hatch, a 9th grader at VUHS and active at Vergennes UMC, joined Katie Curler, a junior at Castleton State College, and Rev. Kim Hornung-Marcy of North Ferrisburgh UMC. Four others from the Shelburne United Methodist Church were also part of the mission trip.

Teams of four to five teens and one adult performed yard work, painting, and home repair. Clients were grateful for the church-members’ service.

One evening, the Hartford residents were given an opportunity to speak to the entire church group. Several said that they were surprised to see the teens did not have cell phones.

As part of mission work, teens leave cell phones and MP3 players at home for the week. The sacrifice of communications gadgets helps teens to focus on face-to-face conversation.

One Connecticut family was assisted by two teams; the family had lost its 44-year- old father just a few months before to skin cancer. The home they had purchased needed significant repair and painting.

By the end of the week, the fatherless family’s home was transformed.

The family’s youngest daughter helped paint her room which included some light-hearted water balloon fights with the Vermont teens.

“We thank you so much for coming,” the mother told the teams. “Your compassion and love has changed my life.”

For the Addison County teens who took part in the mission project, their lives were changed and enriched by reaching out to those in need. The experience will no doubt open young eyes to needs more closer to home.

United Methodist Action Reach-Out Mission by Youth will be hosting its regional service week in Vermont next summer.

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