Eleven youths and two adults from Epiphany Lutheran Church on Old Mill Road in Mount Vernon are taking a different trip for Thanksgiving than the traditional "over the river and through the woods." On Tuesday, Nov. 16, the group assembled in the church parking lot to prepare to travel "over an ocean and through the continents" to Thailand on a mission trip.
With about $2,000 in seed money from previous fund-raising, augmented by efforts from Father's Day picnics, a church yard sale and matching funds dinner events, the youth raised about $9,000 of the $15,000 needed for the trip.
"I guess the parents are going to have to pay the rest," said Terra Fox, one of the youth group's leaders and a parent.
The group will return on Nov. 30 after helping to dismantle bamboo churches, pour concrete slabs and placing posts for a later addition of a roof. They will also share a Thanksgiving feast of chicken, pig, squash and other vegetables with the Akha tribe hill people accompanied by songs the group has prepared since most sing in the church's choir.
“The group is looking forward to the cultural exchange of ideas this trip will offer,” Fox said.
The group sent an email to family and friends saying that they had arrived in Thailand safely, and wrote, "It's unbelievably hot and humid. The tropics! They only have two seasons, rainy or hot and humid.”