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by Laura Lehman Amstutz
HARRISONBURG, Va. —Thirty-four high school youth will explore theology and vocational possibilities while having a cross-cultural experience in the Learning, Exploring and Participating (LEAP) program this summer. The program runs July 18 - August 11.
This year, students will spend a week in orientation and theological training at Eastern Mennonite Seminary (EMS), using curriculum designed by EMS professors. Then, they will divide into groups to travel to Trinidad, Mexico or Guatemala. A church leader from the country will lead each trip.
Samuel Lopez, moderator for Hispanic Mennonite Church USA, will lead 12 youth and 6 adults to his native Mexico. The group will explore Mexican culture and church growth and visit Aztec ruins and the cities of Puebla and Cholula.
Gilberto Flores, denominational minister for Mennonite Church USA and an EMU trustee, will lead 11 youth and 6 adults to Guatemala, where he was a pastor and dean of SEMILLA, a Latin American seminary, before coming to the United States in 1993. The group will visit several churches and church institutions in Guatemala and ancient Mayan ruins.
Ganesh Kalloo, an EMS graduate and pastor of the Mennonite Church of Chaguanas in Trinidad, will lead 11 youth and 5 adults to Trinidad, where they will explore Christian faith in this religiously diverse country. They will meet with Mennonite pastors and youth and visit the coral reef of Tobago.
"LEAP is a great opportunity for youth to learn about God, their call and the church around the world," said director Marvin Lorenzana.
For more information on this year's program offerings, visit www.leap.emu.edu or call Marvin Lorenzana at (540) 432-4697.