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Brilliant Youth Group to report on mission trip

August 11, 2012
The Herald-Star

The 19-member Brilliant Christian Youth Ministries Mission Team will lead the 10:30 a.m. worship Sunday at the Brilliant Christian Church located at 323 High St., Brilliant.

They will report on their mission trip to the Chippewa Indian National Reservation and "the most memorable and effective mission outreach of their six-year history," according to the Rev. Marc Tinstman, the church's pastor.

The 14 youth and five adults from throughout Brilliant and surrounding communities will share how they spent a week week at the reservation in Red Lake, Minn., engaged in numerous home repair projects that included building porches and handicapped ramps, house repairs, interior and exterior painting and winterization.

Along with the work projects, the the youth, who are sponsored by the Brilliant Christian Church, spent time learning and sharing with local tribe members about Native American and Chippewa history, culture, tradition, lifestyles, language and spirituality.

"This Ohio group was the first and most knowledgeable group to participate in the Group Mission Workcamps that I have worked with in my eight years in the program. They also were some of the fun to be with as well as some of the respectful of our people and traditions. We hope they will come again," said Jeff Jourdain, local host and tribal member of the Red Lake Housing Authority.

Tinstman said the team spent nearly a year studying and learning to appreciate and respect National Americans, in particular the Chippewa. They also assigned themselves Chippewa names, familiarized themselves with the challenges of life on the reservation.

Other trip highlights included a presentation by youth members of the tribe's ceremonial drummers multiple "god sightings" and several in-the-wild encounters with a bear, wolves, eagles and other wildlife. Side trips to a water park, a visit to local Indian arts and crafts shops and the famed statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox also were part of the experience.

The mission team included youth Logan Cunningham, Austin Ferguson, Marisa Herrlein, Syarra Hughes, K'Lah Lyons, Maranda Lyons, Sabrina Lyons, Chance Miller, Alexis Roush, Marlena Roush, Chuck Stock, Kyle Sutphin, Andrew Westfall and Billie Witte with adults Martina Herrlein, Amanda Millard, Tina Roush, Nathan Tinstman, who served as a group mission camp "Red Shirt," and the pastor.

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