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Minn. students travel to Covington to volunteer
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When you think of a college spring break, is volunteering for church work the first thing on your mind?

For Charissa Scharf, Amanda Fogle, Annie Scharf and Ruth Wendland, apparently, it is. Skipping the more traditional Spring Break locations, these four college students from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minn. made their way to Covington looking to be put to work. Their goal being to share the good news about Jesus. They were sponsored by a group called Kingdom Workers and by Abiding Grace Lutheran Church.

Just as insight into what motivated these young ladies, here is what they wrote in a thank you note they left here: "We couldn't think of spending our spring break any other way. Thanks so much Abiding Grace. We pray that the Holy Spirit works through our efforts and brings people to the saving faith we share. We hope to see you again in the future, if not on this earth, then someday in heaven."

The volunteers spent the week going door-to-door and making phone calls inviting people to all the free events coming up at Abiding Grace, trying to build relationships and create opportunities to share the Gospel. Each year, Abiding Grace hosts an Easter4Kids, sharing with the children the true reason for the Easter season as well as an Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday.

This year, Easter4Kids is March 31 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., and will feature crafts, music, lunch, games, the Bible story and of course, a presentation the kids will put on for all the parents. Easter Sunday worship will include special music by all the choirs and a message on how the life of Easter is the death of fear. Following that, the kids will get to hunt Easter eggs and all will enjoy a great lunch.

All four of these college students are training to become teachers in Christian education. This program, called TCW (Travel-Canvass-Witness) is designed to give them firsthand experience in sharing their faith with people they haven't met before. Pastor Jonathan Scharf from Abiding Grace, their host congregation, said: "I remember being a part of a TCW team in college and how that really inspired me for a lifetime of reaching out to others with the Gospel. I just pray that this opportunity does the same for these young ladies. And I pray that they had a little bit of fun while they were here too. I know the members of Abiding Grace were thrilled to get to know them and work alongside such great young Christian role models."

To find out more about Abiding Grace or these programs, check the website at or contact Pastor Jon Scharf at (770) 385-7691.

Jonathan Scharf is pastor of Abiding Grace Lutheran Church in Covington.