While our team at LaGrange County REMC puts a lot of effort and care into our community to support its residents, some employees expand their mission to help others on a global scale.
In July, 22-year-old Apprentice Lineman Colton Feller used his time off to travel to Kiganjo, Kenya, where he helped make repairs at a school and farm located at Karundas Children’s Center, a mission of Kids Alive International. Kids Alive is a Christian nonprofit organization located in Valparaiso. It was founded to support child, family and community development.
It’s not Feller’s first time helping overseas. Two years ago, he went on a similar mission trip with Kids Alive to Haiti.
“It’s rewarding to see different cultures and how people live,” Feller said. “To travel the world is also a plus. To impact less fortunate people’s lives … they do a lot of impacting on your life as well.”
Spending part of his eight-day trip helping to repair and build up the local orphanage and its school, his interactions with the children left a lasting impact on Feller, whose favorite moments were the ones spent helping youth with their homework.
Feller explained how the children, many of whom have lost their parents to the AIDS epidemic, have more appreciation for a lot less.
“Everybody’s so humble and so nice,” Feller said. “You see how kids at the school have two pairs of clothes: their school uniform and their weekend clothes. All of their subjects are done on one notebook. They study hard. They use their pencils until they’re down to the eraser. They use it until they can’t.”
It reiterates to him how much he and others take for granted and to show more appreciation for what he does have.
Though he was far from home, he was grateful to be able to use the skills he’s learned in the LaGrange County community and the cooperative to help others. He said his ability to adapt to uncertain situations and work across cultures to accomplish the job, such as building a fence for the school’s farm, was invaluable.
And he doesn’t plan to stop there.
If he’s able, his next stop is Ethiopia for a similar mission next year, once again with Kids Alive.
Feller suggested that anyone interested in helping should visit kidsalive.org for more information on the work it’s doing across the world.