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Nine teens and five youth leaders took the trip of a lifetime to northern Ghana in the spring to help at King’s Village, a Christian international development work, which provides sanitation, healthcare, education, and business development.

The teens are from the combined youth group of three New Jersey Christian Reformed churches: Cedar Hill, Faith Community, and Midland Park.

They furnished a library by building shelves and cataloging books. And they constructed two mud huts and painted a mural for a Christian school, which shows an underwater ocean scene to teach children about fish and plants.

Their sanitation projects included building a latrine in a neighboring village and installing 30 simple, inexpensive water filters.

Alyssa Cestaro, 17, called the trip a life-changing experience. “I took away more from the people than anything I could ever do for them,” she said.

Allison Dykstra, 18, was nervous about going, but, she said, “When I saw the smiles on all the people’s faces, I realized that people are beautiful all over the world.”

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