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Published on 09 July, 2010

American students sew 5,000 backpacks in four days

USA (MNN) — The Evangelical Free Church Challenge 2010 is another chance for students to reconnect with God and His worldwide mission. Last week, junior high and high school students heard from speakers, engaged in worship, and–sewed backpacks.

"What we were doing with them is involved in a ministry project to make backpacks for kids through GlobalFingerprints, the EFCA's sponsorship program," explains Jill Hall. Hall, the GlobalFingerprints Program Director, helped coordinate the Red Backpack Project at the conference.

"The Goal was for the students to make 5,000 backpacks over four afternoons," says Hall. Students were in an 11-step assembly line process to work on sewing straps, zippers, or just adding lacing. Volunteers were standing by to ensure quality and to help kids out who weren't as experienced with sewing. By the end of four afternoons, 5,000 red backpacks had been completed.

Students had incentive to complete the backpacks. At the beginning of the week, they were shown a video of the GlobalFingerprints sponsorship program to help them understand the incredible needs kids were facing around the globe. Teens understood that their work was for the purpose of helping those in need and spreading the love of Christ. "We really positioned the whole sewing project as an act of worship," adds Hall.

The completed packs will be sent with soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, pencils, pens and notebooks to needy children in the GlobalFingerprints program in Democratic Republic of Congo as well as in India. Some of the backpacks will also be distributed through the EFCA's various ministry partners in Haiti, since GlobalFingerprints does not have an official sponsorship program in that country.

The hope for these packs is that "ultimately there would be life transformation as a result of the giving of the bags and the ministry that surrounds them, that the [recipients] would know why the bags were given: because Christians in America–teens in America in this case–really do want to do something to share God's love with them."

Pray that as these backpacks reach children, many would be filled with hope and would put their trust in the Lord.

Click here to learn more about the EFCA's GlobalFingerprints sponsorship program.

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