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‘Book Challenge’ leads FHS girls to Nicaragua

A “book study challenge” led 10 Farragut High School senior girls to Nicaragua.

The goal is spreading and reinforcing Christian beliefs in “the poorest country in Latin America” according to Katie Cargo.

Cargo joins two of her “basketball buddies” with the FHS Lady Admirals, Jessica Griswold and Hayley Newby, among the 10 — plus four parents — on a six-day mission trip during spring break.

Griswold, who along with Cargo is a member of First Baptist Concord, said “a book study” based on the book entitled “Radical” included the challenge to “live in another context, and that means, a mission trip.

“As we were doing this book study with all our friends, we just decided that we wanted to take that challenge seriously,” added Griswold, whose group left Saturday, March 12, for Managua, Nicaragua’s capital city. They will return Friday, March 18.

“We have two different groups, one is focusing on going into the high schools and talking with high school girls, and doing a Bible study,” Griswold said of her group, which includes Cargo.

“Our other group is doing a Vacation Bible School for the children,” which includes Newby, a member of West End Church of Christ.

With the teenagers, “Our group is trying to tell them about their worth in Christ and how much He loves them,” Cargo said, “Because in that culture they group up and they have a boyfriend, then they have a lot of kids and their boyfriend leaves; or their dad leaves, and they really don’t know their dad.

“The males aren’t very supportive in that culture.”

As for the younger children, “We’re doing, Noah’s Ark and David and Goliath. And the last day of VBS we’ll be talking about Jesus’ resurrection and His life,” Newby said. “We’ll do a story, have snack time, then play games and review the story.”

Cargo said about Nicaragua’s poverty, “They live in grass huts and dirt floors, and they don’t have hardly anything.”

Newby said that while the girls will have to do without “air conditioning” in a “really hot” climate, their mission house would include “a kitchen and bathrooms and showers.”

Griswold said she was “mostly nervous about the language barrier, getting my points across, because we’ll be speaking through translators.”

Overall, Griswold said their biggest challenge “is to get out of our comfort zone and really do what God has called us to do, and really take advantage of this opportunity.”

The trip is affiliated with Partners in Christ, “an organization whose ministry is based in Nicaragua, so I think a bunch of people from [FBC] started an organization to get teens to go to Nicaragua,” Cargo said.

Other mission trip girls are Amy Scheuer, Hannah Rule, Gabby Santa, Sarah Noe, Alison Woodford, Carrie Bryant and Lauren McAllister.

Parents are Robyn Cargo, Phil Noe, John Bryant and Cindy Woodford.

Newby said she’s done “two mission trips in the states” previously, including one in Arizona that involved physical labor, “and to one out of the country to St. Vincent” similar to the Nicaragua mission.

Griswold and Cargo have made previous domestic mission trips to New Jersey and Maryland, with Cargo adding that in middle school, “I went to Spain with a group from [FBC] and we did an Upward Basketball camp for kids, and we talked about Christ.”

Cargo, who will attend Auburn University this fall, said she “has a heart for inner city ministries, so I feel like God might be calling me to be a guidance counselor at an inner city high school, or be a teacher in something like that.

“Or do overseas missions as my job.”

Griswold, headed to Lipscomb University (Nashville), said she wants to be “a foreign missionary, so this is exciting for me … this is an opportunity for me to figure out if this is really what I want to do with my life. I really feel called, and led, to missions.”

Newby said she’s still searching “what I want to do with my life,” but that her future Christian university, Freed-Hardeman (Henderson), “will support me and help me decide what I’m supposed to do and grow in my faith.”


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