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International Group Serves Sioux Falls

July 22, 2014, 9:58 PM by Sammi Bjelland

International Group Serves Sioux Falls

Teenagers from around the world are in Sioux Falls this week, serving the community.

Most people associate mission trips with third-world countries. But this week, 65 teens are in Sioux Falls with a national mission group called "The Serve Project."

"They host, through local churches around the country, 25 serve sites throughout the whole summer. So we are one of 25 serves," Coordinator Ryan Link said. 

The group is made up of kids from all over the U.S., Canada and one young lady from the Netherlands.

"It feels really good. Yeah, I like it," Freida Helmholt, a 16 year old from the Netherlands, said. 

Tuesday, the teens were split into different project groups. One was stationed on 26th Street to wash cars.

"I was actually on my lunch break and I was going over to the Holiday to get my car washed. So I saw that free car wash sign and I kind of went, and drove past. And I kind of looped around I thought, 'Well, I'd rather donate some money to these kids,'" Ruby Rezac said. 

Only to her surprise, her money was turned away.

Another group working across town was working hard on a project for the Salvation Army.

"Today we are painting a house. A whole house and the grass. And we're painting it," Helmholt said.

No matter what the kids are doing, they're all excited about what they've been able to give back to a community they don't even know.

"I think serving anywhere is really important to being a Christian. And it's part of your faith, is to go give it back to the community," Jeni Bukema, a 15 year old from Michigan, said.

"I think it's important for them to know that they have something they can do. Even though they're young, they've got gifts and skills and abilities that they can use to serve others," Link said.

The car wash group will be at the First Christian Reformed Church on East 26th Street Thursday and Friday this week as well.

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