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Camp Verde teens travel to spread word of God
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 00:00

Vacationers enjoy meeting new people and seeing new places. Several Camp Verde kids are preparing to see exotic locales around the world, but it’s no vacation.

For these six teenagers who attend Calvary Chapel, it’s a mission from God.

For most of them, it’s their first mission trip.

Bailey Evans, 17, went on her first mission trip abroad last year, traveling to India. The experience was a good one, Evans said.

“India was awesome,” Evans said. “Most people were really open over there. In a few places they formed mobs to chase us out, but I knew the Lord would protect us.”

Young Christians, from left, Bailey Evans, 17, Mark Hawk, 16, Katie Blake, 16, and Nicholas O’Neil, 19, talk about their upcoming summer missionary trips Friday, March 4. The teens are raising money to travel to Peru, Ireland, Nepal and Haiti respectively where they plan to perform skits and host discussions based on their religious beliefs.Evans liked the experience so much, in fact, that this time she’s going with first-timers Cody Cullen and Manuel Ortega, both 15, to Peru.

Calvary Chapel has a relationship with a church in Peru, and the trio will engage in six weeks of missionary training throughout the mountains and jungles.

“I never really wanted to go to Peru,” Evans said. “But the Lord just put it on my heart.”

Ortega said it was Evans’ stories from her trip to India that inspired him to sign on for this trip.

Katie Blake, 16, will be hopping on a very long plane ride to the other side of the world, to the mountainous Asian nation of Nepal.

Blake said her choice of Nepal was “quite random,” but decided it would be the place to go after praying about it.

She’ll be there for around three weeks, primarily working with children.

Blake said she’s really excited to get to Nepal, even if her grandmother is “a little antsy” about the trip.

Mark Hawk, 16, is going to a country that already has a long history of Christianity: Ireland.

Still, there are people there Hawk said he’d like to help. He’ll also be working with children, performing various skits and other activities to get the younger kids engaged.

“I really like acting and talking to people,” Hawk said. “Plus they speak a lot of English over there, so it’ll be a lot easier.”

Nicholas O’Neil chose a destination that’s faced a much more grim and tragic recent past. The 17-year-old will be headed to the Caribbean nation of Haiti. Already one of the poorest nations, the country is still recovering from a devastating earthquake and subsequent outbreaks of disease.

O’Neil said he saw some literature about potential mission trips to Haiti and decided it was somewhere he needed to go. O’Neil isn’t quite sure what to expect when he gets there, but it’s certain to be an experience he’ll never forget.

If fact, no one really knows how their first mission trip is going to affect them, said Scott Evans, an adult at the church.

“I find that a lot of people go into their first trip with an expectation of the type of work they’ll be doing,” Evans said. “When they come back, they find it was God who did the work in them.”

The trips are facilitated by Global Expeditions, Calvary Chapel pastor Kevin O’Neil said, and while the company has helped thousands of teens travel on mission trips the world over, it’s definitely not free.

O’Neil said the church is looking to raise around $20,000 to send the entire group of six on their overseas journeys.

The church will be conducting some fundraising at its Main Street sanctuary, but there will also be events out and about in the community like bake sales, candy sales and a special garage sale set for Saturday, April 2, in the old Boler’s Bar building on Main Street.

For information about events or to help the kids meet their goal, call the church at 567-2171.


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