Local teens off to Samoa with outreach team

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TWO Invercargill teenagers have been busy fundraising to travel to Samoa as part of a church youth outreach team.
Hannah Simpson and Sophie Squires are among 50 people spending three weeks on the Pacific island presenting programmes promoting good decision making and positive relationships in primary and secondary schools, using puppets, drama, personal testimonies and singing.
The visit has been organised by Hamilton-based Word of Life Ministries.
To raise funds they have organised sausage sizzles, a movie night and a women’s evening, as well as working in casual jobs.
‘‘Our fundraising goal is $3000 each, which will cover travel to and from, and around Samoa, food, accommodation, uniforms and materials,’’ Sophie said.
Asked what inspired her to travel to Samoa, Sophie said three of her older siblings had already taken part in the outreach programme.
‘‘They all said it had been an awesome experience, so I am looking forward to it. It is the whole experience of travelling to a different country and meeting a lot of other Christian people and sharing my faith, which is exciting.’’
Sophie said she had heard Word of Life Ministries pastor Tom McIvor, who is overseeing the trip, when he spoke at youth groups in Invercargill.
‘‘The subjects he covered were really good… and an eye opener. It is good to hear different people’s point of view.’’
Hannah said while it would not only be ‘‘cool to go overseas and see a different culture’’, she also anticipated the experience would be ‘‘challenging, personally stretching, and an eye-opener’’.
‘‘I thought about going last year, then Sophie signed up and got accepted, so I also signed up. Although I have helped at a few kids’ camps, I will definitely be stepping out of my comfort zone.
‘‘But it will also be beneficial as well. The whole experience will be life changing… and will give me a better view of the world.’’

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