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Michigan, South Dakota volunteers complete mission work

MENNO -- "Heartwarming" is how 18-year-old Geoffrey Bronsink described the mission work he completed recently. "It brings joy to my heart to see the joy we bring to other people's hearts," Bronsink said. "The work that we do is jobs that people c...

The job sites were in Sioux Falls, Menno, Freeman and Mitchell. (Left to right) Grace Boerema, Kendra Hesselink and Jennie De Jong take shingles off of a home in Menno. (Submitted photo)
The job sites were in Sioux Falls, Menno, Freeman and Mitchell. (Left to right) Grace Boerema, Kendra Hesselink and Jennie De Jong take shingles off of a home in Menno. (Submitted photo)

MENNO - "Heartwarming" is how 18-year-old Geoffrey Bronsink described the mission work he completed recently.

"It brings joy to my heart to see the joy we bring to other people's hearts," Bronsink said. "The work that we do is jobs that people can't do for themselves."

This year Zion Reformed Church in Menno organized a Teens Actively Serving Christ (TASC) event, put on by Reformed Mission Services, for 40 volunteers from Menno and Michigan. There were also eight chaperones.

This is the sixth time Bronsink has participated in a TASC program.

Hosting the event was a change for Zion Reformed Church because it normally travels to an event rather than host, said Pastor Travis Grassmid.

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Other events are happening in California, Michigan, North Carolina, Vermont, Canada and Washington D.C.

"It was organized chaos trying to organize it ourselves," Grassmid said.

He was amazed by all of the little details that go into creating an event of this magnitude.

The youth arrived June 18 and completed jobs in Sioux Falls, Menno, Freeman and Mitchell. The jobs youth completed included stripping paint, painting, roofing and assisting in various other projects at the worksites. The week-long event ends on Saturday.

The volunteers landscaped and created sandboxes at the Mitchell Area Safehouse. They completed their Mitchell projects Tuesday.

"We tried to find worthwhile causes that we could put energy into," Grassmid said. "These kids could start working and actually make a difference."

Grassmid said it was exciting to see the volunteers completing the work and them being "a real blessing to others."

Those people between the ages of 16 and 20 were eligible to participate. There were 10 participants from the Menno area and 30 volunteers from Caledonia, Michigan, and Kalamazoo, Michigan.

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Bronsink said he has gained a "sense of self-worth" from his mission work. Completing acts of service is a change from the routine of work, school and daily life.

"You come out here and it gives you something fun to do and it gives you an amazing experience that you can share with everybody and change people's lives," Bronsink said.

The youth also have two worship times everyday: morning meditation and nightly gatherings. At the end of their week, the volunteers will travel to Wild Water West in Sioux Falls for a day of relaxation.

Overall, Grassmid said the reason for the mission work is the kids.

"The kids absolutely love serving others and we do it for the kids," Grassmid said. "They grow in their Christian love and it's just a part of the growth of the next generation."

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