The Milbank Youth Missions group is planning a trip to Washington, D.C., this July. The non-denominational group is open to all youth and not intended to take away from each church’s youth group, but rather to offer additional opportunities for spiritual growth. Their motto is One Group, One Goal – Serving One God.
Over the years, the group has worked on projects including painting, weeding, cleaning, feeding the homeless, and helping to restore the broken while sharing a message of hope in Christ. They have traveled to Tennessee, Minnesota, California, Canada, Florida, and at home in South Dakota to work at Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
Last summer, the group went to Pinellas County, Florida, which includes areas of Clearwater and Tampa Bay. “Our kids learned firsthand to give and the importance of doing their part to make the world a better place,” said Tammy Wollschlager, one of the supervisors for the group.
Their 2015 mission started in Tampa Bay with the Metropolitan Ministries, a highly successful ministry established in the 1970’s as a joint mission of 13 churches. The ministry’s purpose is to combat homelessness and includes a large campus offering different levels of assistance and on and off campus housing. Some guests simply receive help with grooming, food, and clothing and others enter a more complete program of education for all family members, Bible study, and support groups.”The program is unique,” noted Wollschlager. “Our group did some cleaning and helped prepare and serve 2800 meals a day.”
They also spent time with the Environmental Services department helping to clean and tend to the campus landscaping. The last day of work, they tackled a Habitat for Humanity home in Clearwater. “The biggest part of that job,” she said, “was completely painting the interior of the house.”
Supervising the group, along with Wollschlager, was Susan Stinson, Emily Adolph, and Joshua and Kelsey Van Hill. Students participating were: Kerissa DeBoer, Macie Redmond, Taylar Bock, Jordyn Bock, Paige Frazee, Brittany Ackerman, Jacob Stinson, JP Lindquist, Caden Wollschlager, Brandon Adolph, and Tory Wollschlager.
The 2015 group was smaller than usual and most had mission experience. “That created a great dynamic,” noted Wollschlager. “The commitment level of these kids was impressive. We were complimented many times on their work ethic.” “Some people don’t understand why we travel to do mission work when there is work to be done in Milbank,” she noted, “but if you chaperoned just one of these trips, you would never question it again. “There’s something special that happens when you are removed from your everyday environment.
This year, the group will join the South Dakota-based Lifelight Ministry and partner with the Iowa-based Rise Ministries to travel by bus to Washington, D. C., for Together 2016. The highlight of the trip will be a one-day event on July 16 on the National Mall with an estimated one million voices coming together in unified prayer, praise, and worship with one purpose – a call for “catalytic change” in our nation’s capital.
The five-day trip will also be filled with morning service projects and afternoon sightseeing tours, including a historical tour of Washington, D.C., from a Biblical perspective. The evenings will be spent in worship, praise, prayer, and group fellowship and devotions.
The group of 24 people from several churches within the community will be led by chaperones Tammy Wollschlager, Brendan Schwenn, Jake Helstrom, Terra Kettwig, Emily Adolph, Evonne Culver, and Josh and Kelsey Van Hill.
Youth planning to take part in the 2016 mission trip include: Brandon Adolph, Taylar Bock, Wes Bowsher, Isaac Fischer, Sadie Holland, Tanner Kettwig, Chase Pinkert, Macie Redmond, Gage Sayler, Morgan Schmitt, Madi Schulte, Nathan Schwenn, Nathan Stewart, Mikayla Street, Caden Wollschlager, and Sydney Zenk.
The group has begun its fundraising efforts for the 2016 trip. If you would like to contribute in any way, please contact Tammy Wollschlagerat 605-949-4567. Wollschlager said, “Prayers for the group are always welcomed and encouraged.”