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Local teens make a difference in Mexico

Weiser Signal American of Weiser, Idaho

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In early June, a team of 24 teens and adults went to Tijuana, Mexico, to take part in a Youth With a Mission (YWAM) Mission Adventure Program.

While in Mexico, the group painted over gang graffiti, visited an orphanage, and spent the day helping in a homeless shelter near the red light district of Tijuana. The group also completed multiple miscellaneous construction projects, including building bunk beds.

The biggest single project involved two days building a house for a family who had been living in a tent. Mission trip leader Randi Davies described how incredible it was to be able to provide the family with safe place to live.

"After the house is complete we formed a big circle next to the house. The keys were passed around and a special prayer/blessing is said by each person over the house and family. Then the keys are handed to the husband, tears flow and they get to enter their new home for the first time," Davies said.

In addition to the home, the group was also able to take the family shopping and fill five shopping carts with household items and groceries.

Davies first began working with the YWAM mission trips in 2008 when she was part of a small group that decided they wanted to go down and build a house.

"It (that first trip) had such a huge impact on my life, it has become my mission to get as many youths down there as possible to participate in this amazing program. We have taken down a team from the youth group every other year since then. This was our fourth trip and the third house we've built," Davies said.

Davies knows that if it were not for the wonderful generosity of the people of Weiser, none of these mission trips or the service provided to these families would be possible. The group held three main fundraisers to raise the money for the trip. First, they put 100 envelopes each at the Community Church and the Nazarene Church. Each of the envelopes were numbered 1-100 and people donated the amount that was on each envelope, so if they wanted to donate $1, they took the number one envelope, and if they wanted to donate $60, they took the envelope marked with the number 60. With that fundraiser, the group raised a little over $8,000, which was enough to build the house and furnish it. The group also held a tostada bar and silent auction in which the volunteers auctioned off babysitting hours, housework, yard work, etc. In May, the group also held the annual Mulligans for Missions Golf Scramble.

"We would love to say a huge thank you to all the people in our community who so generously gave to this trip!" Davies said.

The youth participants also felt the trip was life changing. Austan Hemphill was particularly amazed by the difference they were able to make in such a short period of time with such a seemingly small amount of money.

"We were able to build a house no bigger than many of our garages and yet it changed the life of this family," Hemphill said.

Sophomore, Lexcie Zucker felt that this mission trip has been the best thing she has done with her life so far. "It is amazing when hard labor doesn't feel like work at all because I am making a difference," Zucker said.

With the plans to continue to have the mission trip happen every other year, the Weiser community will continue to have an impact on families in need of homes and so much more just as the youth and adult volunteers will continue to find that they gain from the experience as they serve those in need.

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Original Publication Date: July 15, 2015

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