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Home » Santa Clarita News » One Local Youth Group Back From Navajo Mission Trip

One Local Youth Group Back From Navajo Mission Trip


Those words are usually heard just before a cannonball into a backyard pool, but for a select group of local teenagers, their week off of school was spent just a little differently.

Eleven kids from the youth group at First Presbyterian Church in Newhall boarded a bus and headed to a Navajo reservation in Arizona.

The decision to head to Arizona was partly due to the social climate in the country youth groups normally travel to help out.

“We originally had planned to go down to Mexico, but there were some concerns with the violence down there,” said John Hoogendyk, Youth Director at First Presbyterian Church. “We found this great program in Navajo through Experience Mission, and it just seemed to fit what we were trying to do.”

The group was charged with revamping a preschool on the Navajo reservation, and they worked for several days at the site. Harsh weather prodded the young spring breakers with heavy winds and even snow.

By the end of the trip the group has succeeded in their mission and the preschool was in better shape than when they came.

But the benefits of the trip extend to the young missionaries as well, providing them an insight to an entirely different culture.

“Well they speak a whole different language, so that was cool,” said one of the young participants. “We got to experience some of their songs that they sang in church.”

The First Presbyterian youth group frequently plans trips for their youth, and is considering another venture to the reservation.

Five participants and John Hoogendyk stopped by the KHTS AM-1220 studios to share their story. Click the player below to hear their interview!

{enclose firstpresby_navajomission.mp3}

One Local Youth Group Back From Navajo Mission Trip

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