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First Congregational youth learn life lessons on mission trip

Youth from First Congregational Church - UCC in Glencoe express their exuberance over a recent mission trip. In the front are Andrew Jungclaus and Bryanna Paul, and in the back are Desiree Richardson, Kayla Salmela, Dylan Dahlke and Maren Warner.

What people do, and what they experience, can be two vastly different things, as a group of youth found out on a mission trip to Sisseton, South Dakota.
Six youths from the First Congregational Church in Glencoe joined the Rev. Michael Fritz, the church’s interim pastor, and chaperone Pam Gould on a mission trip from July 10 to July 15. The youths included Andrew Jungclaus, Bryanna Paul, Desiree Richardson, Kayla Salmela, Dylan Dahlke and Maren Warner.
The surface purpose of the trip was to paint houses for the indigenous (Native American) population on the Lake Traverse Reservation, which crosses the borders of South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota. And the other task was to help at a drop-in center for “kids who need more care and attention than they can get at home,” according to Fritz.
But the real purpose of the trip, said Fritz, was to introduce the kids to mission work.
“One of the reasons for the trip was to help them break through the awkwardness of meeting new, different people,” said Fritz. “To bridge the gap of seeing needs to actually offering to help fill those needs.”
In fact, that goal is so important that the youth are encouraged to put down their paint brushes if someone wants to talk to them, play with them or just need attention.
“Relationship building was the priority,” said Fritz.

For more about the mission trip, see the Aug. 10 print edition of The Chronicle.