Tokay High School junior Amelia Seefeldt has a heart for people, travel and God. She’s decided to use her four years of high school to reach out and help as many people as possible, whether its working with local homeless through her church or traveling to other states or other countries. By selling her homemade necklaces and earrings, she is raising money to go to Japan this summer on her fourth mission trip. Here, Seefeldt talks about her beading fundraiser, Beads of Hope, and her passion for missions.
Q: Which organization will you be going with, and what will you do while in Japan?
A: I’m going to Japan through Global Expeditions. I’ve already gone to New York, Dallas and Alaska for missions.
We’ll be helping Christian churches. They’re not suffering physical persecution, but they are the outcasts. We’ll also help teach English.
We’ll offer free prayer because there, you have to pay for prayer (in Buddhism). We’ll be there to pray and show the love of Christ and do whatever local churches need.
Q: How much do you need?
A: I need about $4,500 total, and half of that by May 2. I’m selling the earrings for $6 and bracelets for $8.
Q: What kind of beads do you use?
A: They are all glass beads. I buy most of them at Bunches of Beads here in Lodi and at Jo-Ann Fabrics.
Q: How many pieces have you made?
A: I have about 200 items, but I’ve sold a lot.
Q: When did you start beading?
A: Three or four months ago.
Q: How would you describe them?
A: I had a junior high girl describe them as whimsical. They’re unique. You can go to Kohl’s and you’ll find earrings that are plain or will fall apart quickly. These are all different.
Q: Who would buy your earrings?
A: Any woman who likes earrings — and teenagers. I’ve sold a lot at school. A lot of guys bought them as Valentine’s Day gifts.
Q: You’re also active in speech and debate? What do you like about it?
A: It’s a really unique sport, it’s challenging ... It gets the least amount of funding (of the sports), but it is most helpful in the real world.
Q: What are your college or post-high school plans?
A: I want to attend Biola University. I might major in history; I think I want to be a teacher or a missionary.
Q: If you could do a missions trip to any country, where would you want to go?
A: Nepal or China.
Q: You travel with Global Expeditions. Are they associated with your church?
A: No, I found them on my own. (It is a group of) individual teens coming together with one purpose.
Q: What church do you attend?
A: Faith Community Church in Lodi.
Q: How have missions trips changed you?
A: It gives life new perspective. In New York, we helped kids who didn’t have anything to eat in two days. We gave them a hot dog and they were so (in awe) because they haven’t experienced love.
It really takes focus off of myself and shows how short life is. You’re only in high school for four years. Missions have changed my goals and I want to use these years to show people God’s love and show people how God has changed my life.
Q: What have the experiences given you?
A: It’s given me purpose and shown me his power. This world isn’t it, this is just the beginning. And mostly, hope ... It’s given me a reason for living. I wouldn’t be the same.
Q: Do you do any kind of outreach locally?
A: I work with my church’s homeless ministry and the junior high (outreach) at our church.
Q: Have you had any scary experiences while on a mission trip?
A: I have an anxiety disorder where I can pass out and get sick. I just trust God to take care of me.
Q: What made you want to start going on mission trips?
A: I guess I’ve always been fairly independent. I attended Acquire the Fire two years ago. I wanted to do something more. Every time I would go on a mission trip, I would get more (motivated).
Q: Would you rather do a mission trip rather than vacation?
A: Definitely. Missions change your whole perspective and whole life. I’d rather spend the money I’d pay for a vacation (to help) other families.
Contact Lodi Living editor Lauren Nelson at email@example.com.