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Destined to Serve

Dec 26, 2013 12:27PM, Published by Erik Dittmann, Categories: Today, Community

Gallery: Send Rylee to Liberia [6 Images] Click any image to expand.

By: Rylee J. Nelson 

About a year ago around Christmas time my family and I got a catalog in the mail called World Vision. In it were things that you could give to families in need.  Some of the things included chickens, ducks, mosquito nets and many other things.  My mom wanted to spend less on our Christmas gifts and buy a chicken so families could have eggs for food.  When I was looking thru the catalog, I learned that people, even kids were dying every single day because they didn’t have clean drinking water.  It got me thinking about how much we take advantage of little things like water.  I decided I wanted to build a well in Africa.  I talked to my pastors at church and asked if they could help me raise money for a well. 

During Lent we built a well out of toy blocks and members from the church donated their spare change.  I was very doubtful that we were going to raise enough money.  A lot of people at church would come up to me and say “congratulations” and “way to go” and stuff like that.  It felt weird getting extra attention for doing something right.  With a lot of people giving a little, we raised enough for a well.  I was happy and excited!  The well was built near a school that was recently built.

At the end of October this year, I was at church and they called me and another youth up to the alter.  We watched a short clip of an African pastor talking about how much he and others appreciated the well. He said that all the kids were shouting “thank you Rylee, thank you for our clean drinking water!”  Then they gave me an African gown.  It was super pretty.  I felt like I didn’t deserve it because I did a good deed and didn’t expect anything back.  Then I got the amazing news that I was invited to go to Ganta, Liberia (In Africa).  At first I thought they were joking!  Then I realized that it was for real and I felt excited, nervous, jumpy, scared and proud all at the same time.  I absolutely love the feeling I had that day!

I will be leaving on February 11, 2014 and coming back on February 23, 2014.  While we are there we will be helping paint and build bookshelves for a library and teaching at the school.  I hope to make a lot of new friends on the trip.

The trip will cost about $3000.00.  So, for the last month we have been fundraising to pay for the trip.  We had a bake sale and raised about $450.00.   I am willing to clean houses, shovel snow, babysit and dog walk.  I am also making lavender scented rice packs (for hot or cold) to sell. 

We have a generous sponsor who is willing to match all donations in December up to $1000.00!!  

If anyone would like to make a donation they can mail or drop off a check to

Trinity United Methodist Church

Youth Mission Trip

308 Oneida Street

Beaver Dam WI  53916


See more photos and keep updated on Rylee's Journey here:

Well Project Thank You

service liberia mission

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