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Kentucky youth changing lives in Cuero through church mission camp

Sonny Long

By Sonny Long
July 22, 2010 at 2:22 a.m.
Updated July 23, 2010 at 2:23 a.m.

Michael Simpson, 13, center, of Cuero, spins Hannah Davis, 13, of Cuero, and local kids during a day camp held by high school students from Kentucky.

CUERO - Adam Martinez beamed during snack break at the sports camp hosted by Lifeway Baptist Church on Thursday morning.

"It's fun," said the 5-year-old. "I love baseball. I also love football and basketball. And I love God."

Brian Smith eagerly took part in the same whiffle ball game that came with another pitch.

"It's fun," said Brian, in Cuero visiting his mother from the Houston area. "And I get to learn more about God."

Brian, 11, was getting his lessons, both on the ball field and off, from a group of high school students from Little Flock Baptist Church in Shepherdsville, Ky.

The Kentucky-based group of 60 chose Cuero for a summer mission trip.

Sixteen-year-old Mitch Korfhage is getting a lot out of his trip to Cuero.

"It's good experience for us," he said. "We're serving a purpose. We're here for a reason."

In addition to the backyard adventure day camps held at six locations around town including apartment and Housing Authority complexes, the Little Flock youth shared their testimonies, led Bible study, and talked to the Cuero kids about everything from sports to relationships.

A Praise in the Park musical ministry was held in Cuero Municipal Park Wednesday night.

Elizabeth Grant, 17, said the mission trip was like "nothing I have ever experienced."

"The kids here are so willing to learn," she said.

Haynes Searcy, Lifeway's youth pastor, agreed, noting that neighborhoods were canvassed door to door and fliers passed out letting people know about the activities.

"The youth in Cuero are looking for something positive," Searcy said. "That's what this is about. Seeds are being planted and lives are being changed. They'll remember this week forever."

The group from Little Flock chose Cuero for the mission trip because a Lifeway deacon's daughter has in-laws who attend the Kentucky church.

The Kentucky students are sleeping and eating at Lifeway and hitting the showers at Cuero High School.

T.J. Hebert, one of the adult leaders from the Kentucky church, said, "It's the most rewarding thing ever. I really enjoy it."

"We give our testimonies during snack time and try to get them interested. Talk to them one on one," Hebert said.

Getting their interest has paid off with at least 15 Cuero youngsters making a profession of faith, accepting Jesus Christ as their savior, during the Kentucky group's first five days in town.

"It's good kids can define their faith like that. They want to, they need to," said Dennis Heinold, who will take over as youth pastor at the Cuero church in August.

Searcy said in excess of 100 Cuero children, of all ages, have taken part in the week's activities.

"The cool thing is that when you plant that seed, you touch way more than a 100," said Searcy, who is headed to the seminary in Henderson in August. "You touch the whole town. It's a blessing to see lives being changed."

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