May 13, 2015

High school grad heading to Brazil

By Kathy Tandberg
Sierra Wenning has a summer in the sun planned before she begins her studies at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. But she won’t be spending it at the lake relaxing.
Instead, this Beulah High School senior, who graduates May 24, will be boarding a plane May 30 and flying into Central Brazil for a summer as an Association for Free Lutheran Congregations mission worker at the Miriam Infant Home.
The Miriam Infant Home is a safe haven for children in need, area boys and girls ages infant to 14.
Sierra and her family, parents Jim and Darcee Wenning, and sisters Lacy, Emily, and Anna, are members of Peace Lutheran Church, Beulah, where as far back as 2006 Sierra heard of the many missions sponsored by the church. She was a child herself then, but she knew that one day she wanted to be one of those who helped.
In addition, Sierra heard firsthand from her older sister Lacy, who went on an AFLC mission trip at the age of 18.
“It especially interested me when Lacy went to Uganda. I knew it was still something I wanted to do one day,” she said.
Darcee has kept in touch with the Minneapolis, Minn., based head of AFLC missions, John Nelson, ever since Lacy participated.
“I had already contacted (John) so he knew of Sierra’s interest,” Darcee said.
Interested participants apply for positions in mission work by an application process similar to the job application process.
Sierra filled out paperwork to become registered as a short-term missionary. Background checks were done and then she had a video conference with a face-to-face interview.
“I was accepted and placed on the list for an opening,” Sierra said.
Participants, who must be a minimum of 18 years of age, partner with another participant when they go on a mission. Sierra turns 18 a couple days before she leaves.
About three months ago, Darcee received an email that a summer position would be available in Brazil at the Miriam Infant Home. Sierra applied and was accepted for the position.

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