Area youth return from On-Call missions trip

This article submitted by Aaron Ziemer on 8/11/98.

Dan Johnson, Tricia Butkofski, Julie Sixta, and Alison Thompson returned home from India and Nepal last week after their trip with On-Call.

The group performed as part of the Youth for Christ movement in those countries. They left on June 12 and arrived back home on July 26. They performed 56 concerts in 40 days.

ďIt wasnít a vacation as some people think,Ē said Sixta. ďIt was a lot of hard work. There were temperatures up to 125 degrees Fahrenheit, 17-hour bus rides, hot train rides, and up to three concerts a day.Ē

Sixta added that the work was all worth it.

Johnson was the only member of the four Paynesville people who went that had been there before with the group.

ďI was surprised with how different things were,Ē said Johnson. ďIt was interesting to see the changes from the first time.Ē

The group performed mostly at churches and schools. They were able to do some big auditorium performances as well.

For a full week they did three concerts a day, and they all agreed that was their favorite week of the whole trip.

The group basically spent a full week in each of the cities they toured and did concerts in.

ďWe got to know some people because we saw them more than once,Ē said Johnson.

They all thought they made a major impression on some of the peopleís lives.

ďAllison and I met someone whose parents were Hindu. He was trying to switch religions to Christianity and his parents werenít supporting him,Ē said Butkofski.

They all agreed that it was a lot of hard work, but said it was a lot of fun to see a new and different culture.

They were amazed by the amount of poverty that was over there. They talked about how people would bathe and use the bathroom on the streets.

Another major difference was males are very superior to women. And the women do all the field work.

They also talked about how all of the businesses close in the afternoon for tea-time.

ďA major difference in cultures was the people have so little and are always happy. Over here, we have so much and we are always trying to get more,Ē said Butkofski.

Johnson added the things they get over there are for survival, and the things we get here are for comfort.

They said they were amazed by the way the children who ranged in ages from 5-7 would sit so straight and so quietly.

There was also a lot of traveling time involved with this trip both on the way to and from, but also while they were in India and Nepal.

On the way to Nepal they stopped in Frankfurt, Germany and then they also stopped in Singapore. After that they arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Once they arrived they often had long bus or train rides to and from the places they were going to perform.

ďAfter the 17-hour bus trip, that made the 10-hour trips seem like nothing,Ē said Thompson.

On the way back to the United States, they were able to stop and spend a whole day looking through Singapore.

When they werenít performing they spent time taking in the culture, through shopping or just walking the streets getting to see the way these people lived.

They all agreed that it was a wonderful learning experience and a great time.

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