Church youth goes 'wild' for Ecuador mission

By Sherrie Norris (

Article Published: May. 6, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Church youth goes 'wild' for Ecuador mission

Jessica Lawrence, pictured with children in Ecuador during last year's mission trip, represents a hard working youth group from Pleasant Grove Baptist Church currently fundraising for their return trip to South America in June.

Photo submitted

The Youth on Mission at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Youth will be hosting a wild game dinner on Saturday May 8 to raise money for their return mission trip to Ecuador in June.

The dinner will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the church fellowship hall located at 1564 Silverstone Road and will feature a variety of wild game, such as bear, elk, rabbit, deer, wild turkey, quail and pheasant, served with rice, baked beans, salad and dessert.

A silent auction will also take place during the dinner, followed by a program in the church sanctuary at 7 p.m. Guest speaker will be Joe Byrd of Blue Ridge Outdoors Radio Program, news anchor for WXBQ Morning Show, and public relations and advertising rep for Schrade, Old Timer & Uncle Henry.

Music will be provided by Son Road from Brushy Fork Baptist Church.

Excitement is building among the church youth as they anticipate their second trip to Patate, Ecuador, located in the Andes Mountains near the city of Ambato.

They plan to be in Ecuador June 25 through July 3, returning to Camp Chacauco, where they stayed last year.

"Camp Chacauco was started and built in 2001 by Global Outreach Missionaries/Texas natives Steve and Carol Thompson as a retreat center for local pastors, that now serves as a youth camp and sports ministry," Jackie Lawrence said. "Camp Chacauco is a beautiful, hand-built retreat center in the central mountain region of Ecuador.

"Camps are held there throughout the year for Ecuadorian children, and currently a seminary is being built at the camp for Ecuadorian pastors. The Ecuadorian government has passed a law that the pastors must have a seminary degree, or they can be arrested for preaching.

"The Thompsons moved to Ecuador in 1987 to serve as missionaries with the International Mission Board. Over the years, they have been involved in various forms of ministry and outreach in Ecuador, all with a primary focus of evangelism, church planting and church development.

"After 21 years, Steve and Carol remain faithful to their calling in Ecuador and work with local believers and pastors to spread the gospel through conferences, vacation Bible schools and youth retreats. They also hold pastor-training classes and worship conferences to help strengthen and build up the local church."

They began construction on their first camp in 1996 and their second, Camp Chacauco, in 2001.
Pleasant Grove's youth will be leading Vacation Bible Schools and helping with general construction on the seminary, schools, etc.

"We are really getting excited about going back this year," Lawrence said, "and we're hoping the community will come out and support our efforts on Saturday."

When trying to come up with a "unique idea" for fundraising, the youth group decided to kill two birds with one stone.

"We see it not only as a new fundraising idea, but also as an outreach to the hunters in our area, during which our pastor will speak as well as an expert in the hunting arena," Lawrence said.

Space is limited, and advance ticket purchase is encouraged. Tickets are $15 each and include the dinner and program.

They are available at Grashal Outdoors, New River Building Supply, Three Forks Baptist Association Building, Valley Grocery, Charlie's Auto Repair, Isaacs Tire & Service, and Bald Guy Brew. For more information, call (828) 964-0408 or (828) 773-5664.

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