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by Trinity Gruenberg

trinity@inhnews.com

    When you hear that members of your local church are going on a mission trip, you often think they are going to a foreign destination on another continent. 

    Mission trips occur all over the world, including in our own backyard.

    The Verndale Family Life Church took a mission trip to Tree Top Farm in Circle Pines, Minnesota from July 25-28.

    Pastor Amos Self and eight volunteers including Carolyn Trossen, Judy Schultz, Haylee Dickey, Paige Self, Samara Ervasti, Taylynn Torgerson, Tiahna Torgerson and Traci Arnold assisted with construction projects at the farm. 

    The Tree Top Farm is operated by  Pastor Tony Geselle. It was his dream to have a farm for at-risk kids and minister to them. The farm began in 2010 and is nestled among the highest concentration of mobile home communities in the state. They minister to 26 communities in a 15 mile radius. 

    “Pastor Tony is so good with these kids. They come from broken homes that don’t invest much time in them and they would never hear about Jesus,” said Self.

    The kids range from kindergarten to high school seniors. They help kids grow physically, mentally, spiritually and socially. The children are taught life skills, animal care, participate in indoor and outdoor activities and the day concludes with a family style meal at the dinner table. 

    Self explained that the kids are picked up on a school bus from the various trailer parks and are fed dinner enroute to save some time. 

    “They picked up about 70 kids on the bus. One night we were there, the kids were given pizza. Food could be spaghetti, or goulash,” explained Self.

    Volunteers make the meals and desserts like cupcakes which are handed to them as they board the bus.

    “Of the kids they work with, about 90 percent come from single parent or unmarried parents (step-parents, live-in boyfriend situations), and many never sit down at the dinner table together. They teach them what a family dinner is like, to pray and to leave technology alone at the table,” shared Self. 

    The family meal helps with their communication skills, solving conflicts and instilling  knowledge in them so they can implement it in their lives. . . .

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