Four area teens have been selected to participate on a ministry team known as Operation Barnabas. The teams are sponsored by CE National, a Christian Education organization affiliated with the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches and is headquartered in Winona Lake, Ind.
Luke Myers and Jacob Peterson will serve on one of three teams traveling in California, Oregon and Washington. They will be part of a team of 30 young people from across the United States. Justin Franchino and Bethany Thornton are a part of the organization's first international team of 24 high school students from across the United States. They will be ministering in Brazil.
The teams serve to encourage churches, conduct park programs, vacation Bible schools, participate in inner-city ministry and complete manual labor projects. Taken from the Biblical character, the name Barnabas means "sons of encouragement," and Barnabas young people strive to encourage others; not only through work and programs, but by their attitudes, their lifestyle and their faith.
All four students attend Peninsula Grace Brethren Church in Soldotna and have been endorsed by the church to participate on this team.
As of Monday, the four students will participate in a 10-day orientation prior to departing for the summer tour. During orientation, preparations will be made in areas of puppets, clowning, music, drama as well as for cross-cultural ministry and areas of personal growth.
They will serve on their various teams through July 21. They will then join 45 other junior high and high school students from Peninsula Grace in LaMirada, Calif., for a week-long youth conference, also sponsored by CE National.
The gathering of more than 2,500 students from all over the world will feature speakers, worship and concerts. Students will take part in sharing their faith and attend seminars as well as enjoy the southern California beaches and recreational opportunities.
Justin is the son of Scott and Carmen Franchino of Soldotna. He will be a senior at Cook Inlet Academy this fall.
Luke is the son of Kevin Myers of Kenai and Debbie Myers of Anchorage. He will be a junior at Cook Inlet Academy.
Jacob is the son of Paul and Maggie Peterson of Kenai. He will be a junior at Cook Inlet Academy.
Bethany is the daughter of Dan and Susan Thornton of Soldotna. She will be a senior at Skyview High School.
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