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Homewood church’s youth make a difference for rural West Virginia residents

A week working in the rural areas of West Virginia gave young members of Homewood’s Faith Lutheran Church an experience that will last them a lifetime, says Joy Heine, youth minister.

  Volunteers from Faith Lutheran Church in Homewood
  did work in rural West Virginia this summer. Giving
  their time were, from left, Bill Colton, Quinn Kirchner,
  Jordan Daley, Joy Heine, Eileen Starlet, Jessica
  Thoresen and Lenae Tietjens.
(Provided photo)

 

A week working in the rural areas of West Virginia gave young members of Homewood’s Faith Lutheran Church an experience that will last them a lifetime, says Joy Heine, youth minister.

The Homewood contingent was made up of Bill Colton, a student at James Hart School; Jessica Thoresen of Crete-Monee High; Aileen Straley of Homewood-Flossmoor High School and Quinn Kirchner of Marian Catholic High School, and adult volunteers Lenae Tietjens, Flossmoor Hills teacher Jordan Daley and Heine. They stayed at the local high school with 250 volunteers.

Jessica admits being nervous about meeting new people, but afterward she said “it was eye opening just how much I grew to love all these other kids from across the country,” she said. “We still to this day have a group chat. We also love keeping tabs on our (West Virginia) residents and praying for them.”

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Many residents in Madison, W. Va. chosen for the services were impacted by the loss of coal mining jobs. Volunteers did interior and exterior painting, built stairs, improved roofs and installed skirting around mobile homes. Some days, the temperature hit 102 degrees.

“They were extremely gracious and full of gratitude,” said Tietjens of the residents. “Some would make meals or bake cookies for the kids.”

“I knew it was going to be fun, but I didn’t expect how I would feel when we got to the site. It bewildered me to see the conditions that they lived in,” said Bill. “And when we were finished on Friday, I was happy about the work we did and of how much we helped them.”

Devotions were a part of daily life and centered around the theme of extraordinary.

“We examined how ordinary people can do extraordinary things,” said Heine.

 

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