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The long drive to Arizona included a stop for a service project for some Michigan teens headed to this year’s Youth Unlimited convention.

The youth group from Sherman Street Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, stopped for four days at Window Rock (Ariz.) CRC, where they helped with painting and clean-up projects around the church.

Necia Vander Wall, youth pastor for Sherman Street, wanted her youth group members to give as well as receive on this trip, with some cross-cultural learning thrown in.

“Our group represented Anglo, African American, and Sri Lankan American cultures,” said Vander Wall, “and we learned about the Navajo culture by staying in the homes of local families and meeting children of the community during their vacation Bible school.”

Rev. William Kempkes, pastor of Window Rock CRC, enjoyed hosting the group. “They did some dirty work for us, yet maintained such a positive, upbeat attitude,” he said. “They were  beautiful kids with such gentle spirits.”

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