[StBernard] Naperville church mission aims to help rebuild Louisiana

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Mon Jul 2 11:21:08 EDT 2007

Naperville church mission aims to help rebuild Louisiana
By Hafsa Naz Mahmood
hmahmood at dailyherald.com
Posted Monday, July 02, 2007

Hurricane Katrina victims are still on the minds of Naperville Covenant
Church members.

On Friday, about 60 parishioners will head to Chalmette, La., to lend some
helping hands through Adventures in Missions, a Christian mission trip

Their plan is to help rebuild the interiors of houses and run a vacation
bible school for children. After about six days of relief efforts, the
Naperville Church members will return on July 12.

Youth Pastor Diana Temple is looking forward to interacting with people in
Louisiana who are without hope.

"The big thing is that it's been two years, and people have forgotten that
they need help," she said. "I have a willing spirit to do whatever they're
needing down there - whether it's playing with kids or building."

In the past several weeks, volunteers have attended six training sessions to
gain a solid understanding of the most effective ways to help.

Dave Benjamin of Naperville said depending on individuals' desires, everyone
will break up into groups and help out accordingly.

Of the 60 people, about 10 of the volunteers are high school students.

"There are a lot of adults going who have never gone on a mission trip
before," Benjamin said. "It'll be a learning experience for everyone."

Benjamin agreed that the needs of victims haven't disappeared since the
tragedy, which occurred in August 2005.

"On many levels, as a church, this is what we're called to do," he said.
"Our purpose is to help others, not ourselves."

Barry Svenson of Oswego, who has been a member of the church for 28 years,
is ready to get down to business.

"I'm kind of a construction kind of guy, so I'll help in the rebuilding type
of process," he said.

Svenson said a lot of the volunteers will be stepping out of their comfort
zone, and the challenge will be to get everyone involved by using all the
different skills people have to offer.

"I just hope that we can make an impact, and also come back and encourage
others," he said. "With a little bit of planning and effort, we can make a



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