MOUNT VERNON, Ky. — Grace and Waveney Brooks are at once exceptional and ordinary. Both students at Tates Creek High School in Lexington, they have journeyed to Guatemala with their family to translate at a medical clinic in a small village and recently joined over 80 youth from local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) congregations to partner with Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) in Rockcastle County. The service project provided an opportunity for them to make a difference at home.
“I want to help change the lives of people in need,” said Waveney. “I wanted to take part in a project like this because I knew it would bring me closer to those I worked with and also bring me closer to God.”
The sisters were part of a group of youth from 10 different LDS congregations in the Lexington area taking part in a youth conference. The teens, ages 14-18, worked on a variety of CAP projects such as assisting with commodity distribution at the Grateful Bread food pantry, assembling informational packets for the Disaster Relief Program, sorting/steaming donated clothes for Grateful Threadz thrift store, and constructing ramps/benches.
“This youth conference provides an opportunity for nearly 100 teens kids to try a variety of tasks they can do in their own community to help out and bring Christ into people’s lives,” said Drew Millar, one of the youth leader’s that accompanied the group. “These type of service experiences will make them want to come back and give back.”
The annual youth conference seeks to strengthen their faith in Christ, provide opportunities to build important friendships, and serve the larger community.
“I just wanted to help people that are in need,” Grace added. “It made me really happy to help others and see the progress we made on the projects we worked on.”
The young people that were with Grace and her sister came from area congregations, including Lexington, Richmond, Nicholasville, Danville, Berea, Liberty, Somerset, London, and Corbin. CAP works to establish partnerships with local churches through its Volunteer Program and its newly created Church Relations Program.
Waveney plans to do missionary work full-time for a year after she gets a little older. “This experience with my sister was fantastic because we got to help people who otherwise might be left out,” Waveney added. “It’s amazing to think you can be a part of something that changes the life of another person. Serving others can bring more light into anyone’s day.”
To learn more about mission trip opportunities with Christian Appalachian Project or how your church can partner with CAP, email firstname.lastname@example.org.