By Sara Tischauser
Students and youth leaders gathered in Seymour as they prepared to help the Seymour Community.
Jonathan Kamper, master of ceremonies for TeenServe and TeenServe staff, said TeenServe is an interdenominational missionary that brings together youth and leaders from eight different states to make a difference in the community.
TeenServe was established in 1999 and the first workcamp was held in Ladysmith, Wisconsin, in 2000.
Kamper said everyone who participated in TeenServe took a week out of their summer to volunteer.
“They have to fundraise to come,” Kamper said about the TeenServe volunteers. “They pay to come serve.”
TeenServe provides service to others and spiritual time during the week. In the evening youth had guest speakers and music at the Seymour High School where they stayed during their time in the community.
“One of the great things [about TeenServe] is how we can show the love of Christ,” Kamper said. “They can serve and make an impact in their own communities.”
Kamper said while missionary trips abroad are very important and needed, TeenServe also shows youth that service can be done close to home.
Cynthia Zootman from Rossville, Indiana, is volunteering for her first year of service with TeenServe.
“I’ve never been able to do a mission trip before,” Zootman said. “I thought it would be fun to paint someone’s house. I’ve never been able to show God’s love before.”
The TeenServe experience, Zootman said has been great. She said the family she helped paint the house for were very thankful for the help and were inspired to have more work done on the house by others.
Paul Michael-Butler served as a crew leader for TeenServe and said the house they worked on in the Shiocton area they did beautification work on.
He said they were able to fix the front of the house to look nicer. Michael-Butler said they painted and reutilized some parts of the house in the back to replace parts in front that had decayed.
TeenServe is an opportunity Michael-Butler said to connect with the youth, but also an opportunity for the youth to gain valuable lessons.
“TeenServe helps teach them what it means to serve in the community and help others,” Michael-Butler said. “It also builds their relationship with God.”
The TeenServe experience Zootman said has been great and she has enjoyed serving others and meeting people in the Seymour area.
“Everyone in Seymour that I’ve met are really great people,” Zootman said. “It [TeenServe] is a really great experience and I would suggest anyone else do TeenServe.”