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Severn's Grace Pointe Community Church of the Nazarene missionary team recently returned from another successful trek to the Peruvian Mountains. The July 20-30 trip to the province of Ayacucho, Peru, was missionary Lorn Taylor's 23rd trip. His last four trips have been to Peru as team leader.

Although the mission trips are sponsored by GPCCN, the missionaries raise funds for their own airfare so that the lion's share of the money donated goes directly to the church they are assisting.

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"There was a team of 18 this year," Taylor said. "Also on the team was four family members, making a personal "blessed" trip."

This time, the team focused primarily on Huamanga Iglesia Del Nazareno (Huamanga Church of the Nazarene) in Ayacucho, Peru. They worked with several churches in the Ayacucho Province, in the Andes, at an elevation of 9,000 feet.

"This year was extremely successful," Taylor said. "We had dozens of supporters, donors and prayer partners. The team was blessed to be part of a larger team that reached so many lives in Ayacucho."

Team members had Huamanga Church's sanctuary platform poured with cement and six trusses, with 246 support bars welded together.

"Walls were also completed, painted (many coats) and steps made going up the side of the hill from the lower parsonage to the sanctuary on top."

Huamanga's pastor also reaped some personal benefits from GPCCN's team work.

"We completed a conversion of a dug out, rough living space, with dirt floor for their pastor," Taylor explained.

"He now has a tiled living area with a functional, tiled bathroom. The pieces of foam for his bed have been replaced by a newly purchased mattress. The team also used donated funds to pay for a stove for cooking and heat."

This pastor also has a second church. In this church, the missionary team painted all the interior walls, with a second-tone around the base. In front of the church, on a wall facing the congregation, team artists painted a striking mural. Outside, artists added a church sign.

"As the two churches were undergoing work, our team was also busy with a two-day clinic," said Taylor.

"Over 60 people were seen with severe medical conditions and malnutrition. Without the clinic, there was no hope as they couldn't afford paid medical visits. Donated medicines brought relief to dozens of people."

While in Ayacucho, GPCCN's Vacation Bible School team ministered to over 180 children with stories of Jesus, songs of hope, games and even Martial Arts lessons. Pinatas, decorations, candy and supplies were provided for the VBS from donations from a Texas Roadhouse fundraiser as well a financial gift. The Jesus Film was shown in the community of Chaquibamba, in the Province.

The efforts, prayers and donations of many, contributed to an impressive financial impact made by the 2017 Missions Team in Ayacucho. Three pastors doubled their salaries by working with the team. One pastor received a new car battery and another received a new living space. Yet another pastor got a new bike for easier commuting between churches, and the mission field car got a rebuilt engine. Donations of winter clothing and coats as well as other necessities were presented to all.

With another successful mission trip under their belts, Lorn Taylor is already planning next year's trip.

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"July 11, we are praying about taking a team of 30 to the devastated town of Piura, Peru," Taylor speculated.

"Their town, as recent as March 2017, was completely under water due to massive flooding. Homes, churches and lives were lost and/or changed forever. Our goal is to first provide some relief and then let them know that there is hope."

Construction workers, helpers, hair cutters, medical personnel, mechanics and other volunteers are needed for the 2018 mission team. And the 2017 journey? Taylor says a heartfelt "Gracias (thank you) – You made a difference!"

Herberts Helpers is hosting a Vera Bradley Backpack Bingo on Sept. 9 to benefit the teachers at Jessup Elementary School. Proceeds will be used for classroom supplies. Bingo takes place at the Jessup Community Hall, 2920 Jessup Road, Jessup. The doors open at 1 p.m.; bingo starts at 2 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, students grades 1-5, $5, and kids under 5, free. Winning prizes include $125 Vera Bradley backpacks for the special games and Vera Bradley backpacks valued at $100 for regular game winners. Refreshments on sale. For details contact Dana Herbert, 410-796-7999.

Edith May's Paradise, 7711 Apple Ave., Jessup, presents a Songwriter's Round Robin on Sept. 9, featuring Christina Van Norman as the evening's official hostess along with Jacob Panic, Esmirelda and Letitia Vansant. Doors open at 7 p.m. with a suggested donation of $15 at the door. It's BYOB and bring a dish or treat if you like. For more information, contact Georgie Jessup at 410-799-3577.

The Meade Area Garden Club kicks off another year with its annual Welcome Garden Party on Sept. 15, at 10 a.m., at the Jessup Community Center at 2920 Jessup Road in Jessup. Guest speaker Jonathan Bardzik, cook, author and storyteller from Washington D.C., presents, "Seasons to Taste – At the Market," stories to enhance flavors. Refreshments including samples from Bardzik's demonstrations using local, seasonal produce, will be served. For questions call Jennifer Garcia at 443-685-3133 or Sharon Durney at 410-761-5019.

The Glen Burnie Elks Lodge, 878 Stevenson Road, Severn, will host a Crab Feast on Sept. 16. The doors open at 2:30 p.m.; crabs are served from 3 to 6 p.m., in addition to crab soup, corn, salads, chicken, hot dogs, soda, beer and more. Tickets are $45 with a cash bar available. Music provided by Trigger Fish from 4 to 8 p.m. For tickets, call the Lodge at 410-969-2266.



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