“We wanted to make sure that someone gave these teens some hope,” said Nate Birkholz, the youth pastor at Lakeshore Baptist. “We want the girls to know that we care about them.”
Nineteen teens — many of whom attend the church’s school — gathered at Birkholz’s house to make a care package for each of the girls. They broke off into five groups, writing get-well wishes on cards and stuffing pastel pink gift bags with a teddy bear, Godiva chocolates, Mary Kay cosmetic samples and a blanket.
The blankets were embroidered with the words “Psalm 62:5-8” — a Bible scripture symbolizing God as hope.
“He’s been our biggest hope,” Birkholz said of God, “and that they can have their hope in Him.”
The care package idea came about during the youth group meeting Sunday morning. When they met later that evening, the kids came up with specific items to put inside the bags and each donated $5 for the packages, Birkholz said.
“We’re here to show that we care about them and show Christ’s example of what he would do for us,” said 18-year-old Josiah Vandy Bogurt.
When the group dropped off the care bags at the family’s homes, Birkholz said the lights at each of the homes were not on, but they will surely be surprised when they open their doors this morning.
“I would want them to do something for me,” said 19-year-old Felicia Van Niekerk. “What happened to them could have happened to anyone.”