Spreading the Word
Teens preparing for work abroad

Yellowknife ( May 22/00) - A desire to share and strengthen their faith, as well as a quest for adventure, is propelling two Iqaluit teens on separate journeys abroad this summer.

Fauna Kingdon, 15, and Teevi Mackay, 16, are taking part in Team Missions, a nondenominational organization in which Christian teenagers -- mainly from Canada and the United States -- visit developing countries. Both girls are Grade 10 students at Inuksuk high school.

Each girl will spend two weeks at a training camp in Orlando, Florida, though at different times. Kingdon will arrive in Florida in late June.

"You go there and train to build things, 'cause when you go to the country, you build something," Kingdon explained. "You build a building. Mine is a Bible study and youth conference centre."

Kingdon will be one of only four Canadians among a group of 30 at a Team Missions camp in Ecuador.

"It's a life-changing thing. When you're young, you should do as many experiences as you can," Kingdon said, noting that the experiences train participants to be missionaries.

Kingdon said she's not sure if she will become a missionary, but that the trip will allow her to be "a stronger Christian" and will allow her "to spread the Word."

Mackay, who will be the lone Canadian in a group of 32 in the Philippines, has similar goals.

"I want to, first of all, experience more with Christianity and just tell people what we've found," Mackay said.

"It'll build our faith tremendously, being with all the Christians and then helping other people to understand our point of view. I want to have international experience, too."

Mackay will help build a bootcamp and then her group will hike through the countryside and evangelize in villages along the way.

Mackay begins her journey early in June and her mission ends August 5. Kingdon's mission ends later in August.

Both girls have been fund-raising, mainly through their church, Iqaluit Pentecostal, and they said President Jerry Ell of the Qikiqtaaluk Corporation has been especially helpful.

How did their families react to their upcoming adventures?

"My family is religious also, so they really support it. They think it's a great thing," Kingdon said.

Mackay said, "My mom's been a Christian for 10 years, and once I told her about the trip, she was very excited. She can't wait til I go. She supports it totally."

With a laugh, Kingdon and Mackay both admitted their fathers were at first a little worried about their safety.