Our Savior's Lutheran youth present mission trip report

The 2006 Cumberland Mountain Outreach (CMO) mission experience will be the topic of the annual report to Our Savior's Lutheran Church at all church services Jan. 27-28. The Saturday church service is at 5 p.m. and the Sunday services are at 8:30 a.m.

The 2006 Cumberland Mountain Outreach (CMO) mission experience will be the topic of the annual report to Our Savior's Lutheran Church at all church services Jan. 27-28. The Saturday church service is at 5 p.m. and the Sunday services are at 8:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.

In all, 25 youth and adult members of Our Savior's Lutheran Church participated in a mission trip to Beattyville, Ken., where they spent a week and a half at CMO. This trip took place June 14-25.

The mission group of Our Savior's Lutheran Church has traveled to CMO every summer since 2004. Beattyville is located in one of the poorest counties in the United States.

CMO's mission is to provide the less fortunate with better living conditions and essential needs, with special emphasis on helping families with children who are in poverty.

While at CMO, the members of the mission trip worked on a rundown house with floors that were falling through and which needed two doors put in. There was a bathhouse located on the CMO property that needed siding. In addition, the members led a day camp for children in the Beattyville area.


Our Savior's also conducted a day camp counselor training in which local Beattyville teens could learn to lead the day camp.

CMO has been run by Bruce and Cindy Feller for the past eight years in Beattyville. Over the years, Our Savior's Lutheran Church members have described this couple as compassionate, giving, friendly, loving and helpful. Bruce had a stroke the first year of their marriage in the mid-1990s and the doctor gave him three years to live. Bruce decided he wanted to do more to help people in need. They decided to repair or rebuild houses for families in poverty. Two years later and with a lot of hard work and dedication, Cumberland Mountain Outreach was officially opened.

The Our Savior's mission group worked on a house with many repairs needed. It is occupied by a 24-year-old woman with her three children. Her husband was abusive to her and her children so she decided to divorce him and get a restraining order. The members who worked on this project painted the outside of the house and put in two doors.

The bathhouse located on the grounds of CMO needed to have siding put up. For the past two winters, the building only had unfinished boards. The mission group's coordinator, Melanie Sprecker, and a few of the adults knew this would not last through another winter. They talked to Bruce about this and they all agreed this would work as a service project for the mission group to work on.

The whole project was completed in about one day with about five to 10 people working on it.

The mission group put on a day camp for the local Beattyville youth. Teens from the area took part in a day camp training along with some of the members of the mission trip. They were taught songs, games, activities such as crafts or nature, and the rules of the camp. This would then help them to plan and run their own day camp.

The day camp took place in two different locations. One day camp was held at CMO and the other at the Beattyville Manor (low income apartments). Kids who live at the Beattyville Manor could then attend the day camp.

The main theme of the day camp was "Emerge" - a butterfly analogy where butterfly eggs transform into butterflies as we transform into being Christians. The teen counselors taught the kids the stages of becoming a Christian through the life of a butterfly; first the egg, then the cocoon/caterpillar, and then the butterfly.


Of the 25 members on the mission trip, eight of these were adults and the remaining 17 were youth ages 14 to 18. They included Bob and Becky DeCaigny, Brian and Brittany Foster, Camille Fritsinger, Cindy and Heather Hall, Caitlin Johnson, Burt, Deb and Wes Laine, Mandy McMillan, Morgan McMillan, Jordan Newsum, Ben Oles, Andrew Prouty, Travis Smedshammer, Amanda Sorensen, Melanie Sprecker, Brandon Swanson, Jason and Justin Thompson, and Ben and David Ulsby. All of these people are from the Cloquet, Carlton and Esko area.

The 25 people were split into two groups with 14 people leaving on June 14 and the second group of 11 people leaving on June 17. Both groups returned on June 25.

The mission trip of Our Savior's Lutheran Church also did some sight seeing along the way and participated in local cultural programs.

On the way down to CMO, some were able to visit the Indianapolis 500 Speedway Museum in Indianapolis and the Bluespring Caverns near Bedford, Ind.

They also got a chance to see what Kentucky was like. They were able to go swimming at the community swimming pool at Natural Bridge State Park. One night they went to The Jenny Wiley Theatre to see "Nunsense." They were taught how to line dance/clogging so they could dance the night away on Hoedown Island also in Natural Bridge State Park.

On the way home, they went to the Claiborne Farm where they could see famous racing horses, like Pulpit and Strong Hope. It was also the farm where Secretariat is buried.

Later that same day they went to the Kentucky Horse Park where some were able to see other horses like Cigar, Da Hoss, and CH Gypsy Supreme.

To learn more about Cumberland Mountain Outreach and Bruce and Cindy Feller, visit . Planning will soon start for the summer 2007 mission trip. Anyone interested in participating should contact Melanie Sprecker at Our Savior's Lutheran Church.

What To Read Next
Get Local