Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Ely group heads to Puerto Rico

Will help with hurricane relief

Keith Vandervort
Posted 6/21/18

ELY – Two dozen Ely-area teens, all members of the local Young Life affiliate, are in Puerto Rico this week helping the residents of that U.S. territory recover from last year’s hurricane.

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Ely group heads to Puerto Rico

Will help with hurricane relief

Posted

ELY – Two dozen Ely-area teens, all members of the local Young Life affiliate, are in Puerto Rico this week helping the residents of that U.S. territory recover from last year’s hurricane.

The group gathered at Ledgerock Church Friday afternoon, all sporting “Pelican Praying Missions t-shirts, for a send-off party with family and supporters. After long hugs and well-wishes from those staying behind, the group boarded vans for Minneapolis where they caught an early-morning flight to Chicago and then a non-stop flight to San Juan.

Local director, Mike Keller, along with several other adults, are traveling with the teens, including Bobbi Jo Hasz, Tyler Walter, Dylan Kienitz, Jasiah Wigdahl, Mike Keller, Cameron Kienitz, Elijah Olson, Austin Kallberg, Caleb Janeksela, Emmett Faltesek, Evelyn Bercher, Lauren Porthan, Holly Dirks, Ethan Hasz, Isabelle Kelley, Adrianna Bishop, Brianna Alverson, Lily Sauls, Grace Tweit, Ana Bercher, Sarah Isbell, Kris Bercher, Laura Pasmick, Meghan Lord, Gretchen Lord.

The Ely group met up with other Young Life groups from around the United States to help the local residents rebuild their communities after the hurricane, hand out food and water, and lead a week of vacation Bible school for the local children. “We will also be rebuilding a church roof and other neighborhood structures,” Keller said.

A Facebook post from Keller on Monday said,

“Today we visited the church that we will be serving at, Iglesia Metodista de Puerto Rico Carlos Wesley. It was a neat experience to say the least. Two of our students shared their stories and we as a group sang ‘Father I adore you’ in Spanish in front of the church.”

We were all struck as we learned of the effects that the hurricane had and is having on people here in PR (Puerto Rico). One gentleman mentioned to me that over 65,000 people have left the island and that he had to spend his entire life savings to recover his home.

Amidst the pain left from the hurricane, we have already experienced so much joy from the people here. We are looking forward to serving tomorrow at the church and at homes an hour away that were damaged from the storm. Thanks to everyone back home for your continued prayers for this group. It is HOT here, so please pray for safety in the heat and also that our group would continue to build a bond.”

Young Life is celebrating its 20th anniversary in Ely this year. “Today, more than ever, young adults need a safe place to figure out who they are and what life is all about. Young Life invites kids to experience God, but regardless of their response, Young Life accepts them as they are and helps them find meaning in a world that can feel harsh and unaccepting at times. Young Life is inclusive. Everyone is welcome at all times,” Keller said.

Many adult community members act as mentors and work with middle school (Wyldlife) and high school (Young Life) kids, providing them with weekly clubs, small groups, camping, and the opportunity to serve on mission trips at home and abroad. “Over half of the kids in our school district have participated in one way or another in Young Life,” he said.

For more information on Ely Young life, go to www.elyyounglife.org. or call Keller at 218-235-7190.

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