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On top of a mountain peak are, from left, Scott Becker, Riley Ferguson, Kia Feia, Marlee Haroldson and Rob Hackworthy, part of a group of 50 students assisting Habitat for Humanity programs.
On top of a mountain peak are, from left, Scott Becker, Riley Ferguson, Kia Feia, Marlee Haroldson and Rob Hackworthy, part of a group of 50 students assisting Habitat for Humanity programs.

Mishpack serves in Bozeman, Mont.

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life River Falls, 54022

River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Hudson-based NETworks Youth Ministries’ summer mission trip, Mishpack, brought 50 students and leaders to Bozeman, Mont., for the last two weeks of July.

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The first week students worked alongside Habitat for Humanity. Mishpack Director Elliott Krizek received a call from the Habitat coordinator in Bozeman saying they had been given a house to salvage anything they wanted from; the problem was that the Montana home was an hours drive both ways.

“I was rather excited by the opportunity to take apart a home, but was hesitant about having to drive two hours a day to make it happen,” said Krizek.

Since this project was such a windfall for Habitat, Krizek agreed, and the group was on the road. Arriving at the house on a Monday students quickly began salvaging cabinets, fixtures, flooring, staircases, doors, windows, decking, siding and roofing from a house. The students made quick work of the house and finished in a little over four days.

When Mishpack wasn’t on site, in the evenings they reconvened at Hope Lutheran Church in Bozeman for worship, discussing the life of faith in large group and more intimate small groups. “Mishpack offers me a great time to get closer to God and doing it surrounded by the mountains is a great bonus,” said participant Chris Lueneburg.

After a weekend of seeing the sights in Bozeman and Yellowstone National Park, students and leaders split up into four hikes to go backpacking across the Spanish Peaks wilderness area south of Bozeman. While hiking, students tested their endurance against altitude, climbing up peaks well over 10,000 feet, crossing rugged terrain littered with boulders, gaping at soaring ridges and throwing snowballs in July.

Reflecting on her hike with a fellow student, 2013 Hudson High School graduate Krissy Becker realized it was indeed possible to live without her iPhone.

“Living without my phone allowed me to see sights we don’t get around Hudson, plus my pack was already heavy enough,” she said.

“During both weeks, students rose to many challenges, but the greatest is spiritual,” said Krizek. “The hard work of trusting God through trouble, of loving him, and loving our neighbors like Jesus does, that defines Mishpack and NETworks.

NETworks Youth Ministries’ Wednesday program resumes Sept. 11, meeting at 5:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church for the kickoff. All are welcome to attend. For more details, contact Krizek (715 386-1446) at the Crossing Point (First Baptist Church, corner of Third and Vine streets).

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