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McBride gains ‘life-changing’ experience in Peru

    A year of planning and preparations were worth it for 16-year-old Kaili McBride, who returned home from Peru last week with a new zest for life.    “I feel important,” the Devlin resident stressed Thursday afternoon. “Before I went, I was just living. I didn’t feel important.    “But now I’m excited and I want to do more. I feel I can make a difference,” she enthused.    McBride spent the first two weeks of July in the South American country ministering to youths and adults through a program called Teen Mania Global Expeditions.    And it was a new experience for her since she had never even flown in an airplane before.    “It was incredible—I’m so glad I went,” she remarked.    When McBride first arrived in Peru, she hadn’t yet found the inspiration she was looking for.    “I didn’t think it was something I would do again,” she recalled, adding she then had a talk with the project director, who explained it was just the beginning and there was so much still to experience.    “Then I realized that there’s just something in the way you feel afterwards—it’s indescribable,” she said.    McBride was part of two 30-member teams, consisting of youths from across North America, that visited schools, plazas, churches, and orphanages around parts of Peru to share the Gospel through dramas, assemblies, and interactive ministry.    They spent the first two days of the trip in Garden Valley, Tex. learning the drama “Freedom” that they would perform.     Then it was off to Lima, the capital of Peru.    “It was kind of scary,” McBride admitted when she first viewed the city. “It’s really polluted and the city is loud. But the scenery was beautiful and the people were very friendly.”    She noted they got in very late and went straight to bed. Then in the morning, after breakfast and a group meeting, they went to their first site.    “We set up a sound box and just started making noise to let people know we would be doing our drama soon,” she explained, adding they had practised the sentence they had to say in Spanish.    “And the people would laugh at us—there was always a lot of laughing when we were trying to translate,” she added.    The group performed a few skits and their drama. Then they asked the residents in Lima to come forward if they wanted a personal relationship with God and the teens would pray for them.    “I really felt like we were getting through to people,” McBride stressed. “You could just see the emotion. Sometimes we would see someone crying because they would know they need to change.”    The groups weren’t able to get up into the mountains to share their ministry and McBride indicated she would have liked to be able to talk to the people there.    “The houses were so close together,” she had observed. “And they were made of boxes and scraps of wood.”    She noted the highlight of the trip was seeing the healings that were performed.    “People would ask us to pray for them,” she explained. “For example, a women couldn’t hear out of her left ear. She was really doubting that we could help her, but we prayed for her and she was just ecstatic that she was able to hear again.”    McBride explained other healings included a person who was blind and was able to see again, and someone who had a hurt ankle and was able to walk again.    “I didn’t know if we would see, but I knew it could happen,” she noted. “A lot of people don’t believe, but if you do it in God’s name, he will do it.”    McBride indicated the task of raising $3,000 for the trip, as well as getting shots, filing paperwork, and obtaining a passport, were “more than worth it.”    And she’s planning on going on another mission trip next summer. In fact, she already has signed up and is not daunted by another full year of fundraising and preparations.    But she wants to visit a different country next time around and is deciding between South Africa, Madagascar, and Zambia.    “Anyone can do it—if you’re dedicated to get the money because that’s a big part of it,” she remarked, adding she’s going to recommend the trip to some of her friends.    “I met a lot of people and made a lot of new friends,” she enthused. “I got e-mail addresses, so we’re going to try to stay close and connected.”    McBride also stressed she had a lot of support from her family, friends, and members of the two churches she attends here in Fort Frances.    “I want to thank everyone,” she remarked. “It means a lot to me because that’s how I was able to go . . . and it was really life-changing.”

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