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West Michigan Young Adults Ring in New Year in New Orleans


Fourteen young adults from River Rock Community Christian Reformed Church in Rockford, Mich., welcomed 2015 by taking part in a mission trip to New Orleans, La.

The group partnered with Mustard Seed Ministries, a Rockford-based nonprofit organization, to rebuild a home in New Orleans that was left in disrepair after Hurricane Katrina nearly a decade ago. It was the second year in a row River Rock’s young adult ministries group has taken part in a mission trip to New Orleans for the New Year, student ministries director Bobby Moore said.

“There are so many homes that are in need of work . . . so many opportunities to serve in New Orleans,” Moore said.

Mustard Seed Ministries director Troy Winters, who attends River Rock, invited the young adult ministry to take part in the mission trip a couple of years ago after seeing church members respond to his organization’s home repair projects in the Rockford area.

“Whenever we had a service project, River Rock would always step up to the plate with volunteers,” Winters said.

In addition to rebuilding the hurricane-damaged home, the group also painted and repaired Mustard Seed’s mission house in New Orleans, where mission groups stay while volunteering. They met people from New Orleans whose lives were turned upside down by Katrina and heard their testimony of how God brought them through their difficulties. For New Year’s Eve, the group went to a church service and then watched fireworks. 

Winters said he was amazed by the spiritual maturity of the River Rock group. “They are so Spirit-filled. They are there to be of service,” he said. “You could feel God at work in the group. It was so amazing.”

River Rock plans to send its high school youth group, consisting of about 30 to 40 young people, to New Orleans this summer to do more work on homes with Mustard Seed Ministries, Moore said.

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