United Lutheran Youth Group completes Mission Trip

The United Lutheran Church Youth Group recently returned from their mission trip to Wallace, Idaho.

United Luthern youth

Posted on 7/4/15

By Melissa Anderson

The group took seven local youths to the community of Wallace to perform civic projects.

“We had seven high school youth and two adult chaperones travel to Wallace, ID which is in the Silver Valley,” Pastor Rebecca Breddin said.

The youth that went were  Jake Muhs, Cole Darling, Blake Gellner, Hayes Haslekaas, Rachel Cheatley, Erik Aanderud,  and Jadee Murphy.

“I think this is the best one I have been on because we actually got to meet the homeowners and the people we were serving. That was pretty cool,” Blake Gellner said.

The community of Wallace, Idaho was the location for this year’s youth trip as the group alternates locations.

“Generally we go every other year on a trip that is a shorter distance from home, and the opposite years we go to a place that is farther away. Idaho had what we were looking for and was still a drivable distance for us,” Leeann Knudson, a chaperone for the trip, said.

Knudson explained that the purpose of these trips, while different for each participant depending on personalities, is to to engage the youth in simple, significant outreach, leadership and service, challenge the youth and adults with community-building activities, grow young leaders, and create life-long relationships while also adding in time to look at faith and how to see God working through all of us.

“Helping others and knowing that we made an impact on their [the residents] life. Hanging out with my friends and youth group and have a great time. Trying to finish the project we were doing was the most challenging,” Cole Darling said.

This particular youth trip was on the short side lasting only about week. This particular camp started Sunday evening and ended after breakfast on Friday morning.

“We did many projects that helped homeowners in the Silver Valley area. We also did some projects that would help the larger community,” Pastor Breddin stated.

There were six service groups that the youth were broken up into. Each team had different service projects each day Monday- Thursday.

One team worked on replacing a deck for a 97 year old man at his home. One team built three wheelchair ramps at one woman’s home. Another group cut and stacked enough wood for a couple to heat their home for two winters. One group poured cement for a mini golf course for campers to use and  cleared a hiking trail, along with numerous other painting and cleaning projects.

“Life out there is very different compared to what it is here. Out there you have to cut your wood to keep warm and here you just have to plug in a furnace. We met some great people from all over. This was a great youth group to go with,” Jake Muhs said.

The United Lutheran Youth Group completes a few fundraisers throughout the year in order to help fund mission trips such as this most recent one.

“One of the fundraisers is the annual Rhubarb Festival that will be held during Music Fest weekend,” Knudson stated.

While at this particular mission trip location, the group stayed at the beautiful Shoshone Mountain Retreat.

“We stayed right onsite at Shoshone Mountain Retreat in a large dorm style building,” Knudson said.

Shoshone Mountain Retreat is a camp located in the Coeur d’Alene National Forest Idaho. The camp, according to Knudson, is a true mountain retreat at the western edge of the ruggedly famous Bitterroot Mountains at the confluence of Shoshone Creek and the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River.

“It was a fun time, fun helping the elderly people there. The free time was great. We got to go tubing, swimming and go rock climbing. There was a community picnic where we grilled hot dogs and ate with the homeowners,”Erik Aanderud said.

As a whole the mission trip was a success and fulfilled the purpose of the trip that Knudson and Pastor Breddin hoped it would.

“It was really good to be the hands and feet of Jesus while in Idaho,” Pastor Breddin said.