August 27, 2008 Edition

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Coats teaches and
learns on mission trip

Shayla Coats traveled to Green Bay, Wis. for a mission trip with Act 1:8 ministries during the summer break. Rev. David Bishop (left) and James Jones, both of Atkins, were also on the trip.
Shayla Coats of Hoxie had the opportunity to travel to Green Bay, Wis., over the summer break as part of an Acts 1:8 mission trip.

Her minister, Rev. Charles Hendrix, asked her if she would be interested in applying to be part of the mission group.

Coats said she applied and was accepted as one of 10 Arkansas teens to make the trip.

The group, accompanied by two adults, left on June 14 to travel to Green Bay to hold a weeklong vacation Bible school at an inner city church. Don Matchett of Adkins, mission director for Arkansas, also participated in the mission.

The Acts 1:8 group was responsible for setting up and teaching the lessons for the VBS at Grace Mission Church in Green Bay.

"The church has a small congregation, and they helped with the kids," she said.

"Our theme was a time tunnel and we decorated a gymnasium with a tarp draped tunnel through which the kids walked and met different characters from the Bible and history," she said.

The Arkansas group performed as Biblical characters such as Jonah and Zacchaeus. They also portrayed political and social figures throughout history.

"We used Jonah and the Whale to teach one of the lessons," Coats said. "We were able to use the story to teach the kids that even when they misbehave God still loves them and will be there for them if they will listen.

"It was an exciting experience. I got to meet new people and found out that I'm not the only one who wants to reach out to others."

Coats said that visiting a poor neighborhood in a large city made her realize how fortunate she is.

"I saw how things were for people who didn't have much at all. It made me appreciate how much I have.

"I think other teens should get involved in mission trips because it is good to reach out to other people and to be there for them," she said. "I am planning to apply to go again next year."

Shayla is the daughter of Greg and Cindy Coats of Hoxie.

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