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Iowa Youth Group Supports Air Force Base VBS

Iowa Youth Group Supports Air Force Base VBS
Children play with a parachute at Vacation Bible School at the Chapel Community Center at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., July 21, 2019.
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Quentin K. Marx

A Vacation Bible School on the Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota received help from youth group members from Immanuel Christian Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa, on a Krew mission trip this summer. Paul Birnbaum, pastor at Hope CRC in Rapid City, S.D., helped set up the connection. The Ellsworth base is considered to be a part of the Rapid City community, and Birnbaum knew that there was an opportunity available. Raidel Leon, a CRC chaplain assigned to the air force base, also attends Hope CRC.

The vacation Bible school took place July 21-25. Youth group members assisted in leading the “main stage events,” helping with smaller group activities, and playing with the kids. They served about 65 kids at the VBS, according to youth group leader Kody Tesch. Youth group members also helped at Love In the Name of Christ, a local service agency, where the group collected food from people within the community. Members also helped out with cleaning up a local park as part of a neighborhood program.

Danielle Kroeze was a member of the youth group who made the trip. Reflecting on the experience, she said, “I am still in awe of how God used so many different people to help me grow deeper in my faith and in the lives of those who had the opportunity to attend our Krew trip this year.”

She said she really enjoyed her time at the VBS and pointed out a moment where there was an opportunity to learn a dance number. Everyone participated in learning the dance from kids, to leaders, to sergeants. She said, “It was incredible to witness because that’s when you see how God brought people of all different backgrounds to glorify him in this small way.”

Eleven young people and four leaders traveled from Immanuel CRC for this experience. The Krew stayed at Hope CRC, making the six-hour trip by van. Tesch said funds from the youth group and Immanuel CRC covered the costs of the trip.

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