Mission 2019: Help Niagara Falls
“Your talent is God’s gift to you, what you do with that talent is your gift to God.”
With that thought in mind, 62 students from Minneota High School have decided to use their talent and embark on a mission trip to Niagara Falls, NY in 2019.
“Minneota Area Mission Trip 2019 has chosen Niagara Falls, NY as their destination for the week of June 23, 2019,” said Advisor Terri Myhre.
“They will paint, do yard work, participate in Kids Club (children’s programming) and serve in soup kitchens, senior centers and homeless shelters,” she said.
“The students, ranging in age from eighth grade through college sophomores, and 12 adults will serve those less fortunate and lend a hand to a struggling community,” said Myhre.
Working through an organization called Youthworks, whose mission statement is: “We exist to connect teenagers to God, each other and communities through life-changing Christ-centered mission trips.”
“The Minneota and Ivanhoe communities can be extremely proud of the 62 students who have chosen to be a part of this journey,” said Myhre.
“These students are volunteering their time and talents in order to serve others in whatever capacity is needed.”
They will not be on vacation — they will be housed in a church and sleeping on air mattresses, doing their own cooking and cleaning, and then working at various service sites in an effort to help and hopefully improve the area.
Their time spent with children and those in poverty will enrich their lives, and they will grow in their faith and develop an understanding of what it means to serve others.
The Minneota group will learn more about the area and their needs. According to Youthworks, there are many reasons why they serve Niagara Falls.
As a well-known tourist destination, many seem to have difficulty understanding why the city is under resourced.
“After spending time here, one can easily see a city struggling to hold on and live up to its reputation as a place of beauty and grandeur,” related Myhre.
Since the 1960s and 1970s, following the Love Canal chemical explosion, Niagara Falls has experienced major economic decline.
As a result, the Falls area struggles with large urban issues of poverty, homelessness and addiction.
In comparison, the Canadian side of the falls is booming with production, jobs and larger economic growth.
“Niagara Falls, USA struggles with being able to provide jobs with the means in order for families to support themselves. The center and bulk of the city is struggling to bring in industry to provide jobs and resources,” said Myhre.
She indicated Youthworks is able to partner with key leaders in the city that are working tirelessly to restore, bring hope and provide assistance to those in need.
The economic problems and higher levels of poverty for this area are what the majority of people tend to not see or experience when they come tour the falls.
“We have an opportunity to help people see both the beauty and struggles here while they serve the community,” states Myhre. Obviously, taking this many people costs a lot of money.
The goal is for each student to be able to raise the funds needed through fundraising efforts, so that it is not a financial burden to families to send their kids.
The group has started some fundraising efforts, and throughout the next year will be doing many activities and events to help pay for the trip.
“The Minneota and Ivanhoe communities have been extremely generous, and we are grateful for all the support we have received,” said Myhre.
She said, “Watch for upcoming opportunities, and please continue to pray for the group as they begin planning and preparing for their trip.”
If any student is interested and has not signed up, contact Terri Myhre, and you will be placed on an alternate list.