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Newman Grove residents help with mission work in Africa

VOLUNTEERS AT WORK — Supplies and tools were shipped to Africa prior to the group’s arrival. They worked as an assembly line of sorts to build a total of 79 benches for area churches. Above, Gene works to complete a bench.

By Gabby Christensen
Rose and Gene Wissenburg of Newman Grove have devoted much of their lives to teaching and helping others.
Gene, now a retired agricultural teacher who works part time at the co-op in Newman Grove, and Rose, also a retired teacher and more recently retired administrator for the Mid-Nebraska Lutheran Home, both knew they wanted to take some time during retirement to travel and see other parts of the world.
But, even as retirees, the Wissenburgs still felt a strong urgency to use their time to help others.
Both are heavily involved in the Newman Grove and Looking Glass United Methodist Churches—and when an opportunity arose to take a trip to Africa to help schools in need, the couple jumped on it.
In mid-July, the Wissenburgs embarked on a 16-day trip with TEAM (Together Experiencing A Mission) Ministries, a group of 16 individuals from various locations, including Nebraska, California, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas. The youngest participant was 17 years old.
Ray Flood of Newman Grove was also one of the participants.
The group had three main goals on the mission: to ensure that previous donations and implementations were being used and well-maintained; to install new solar panels in schools; build benches for churches; and also to determine future needs.
The group’s mission areas included: Kanyama, Choma, Chifua, Siachetima, Sianazeze, Zemba, Livingston and points in between in Zambia.
Previously, Rose and Gene had traveled to Honduras for mission work.
It was this eye-opening experience that had the couple hooked on mission work.

Read the complete story in the Aug. 29 Albion News & Petersburg Press, Print and E-Editions.