REEDSVILLE - Though months of cold weather remain, students Jacob Cram and Anthony Elliott are already making plans for their summer vacations.
Their free time won't involve sunny beaches or soft hotel beds, though.
For six weeks, the teens will sleep on floors, do manual labor, study and perform in public.
Elliott and Cram plan to join Operation Barnabas, a U.S. missions organization that emphasizes local church ministry.
Last year, the Kish Valley Grace Brethren Church hosted a team of students from Operation Barnabas, and the volunteers made a strong impression on Elliott and Cram.
The team led a church service and vacation Bible school, and volunteered to do chores for church and community members.
Elliott, who helped the team with chores, said the teens' attitudes were always positive.
But the team members also made opportunities to share their faith with others.
Cram remembered stopping by a grocery store with two young men who were staying at his home. They started talking to people by the cash register, and shoppers opened up to them, Cram said.
"They were constantly focused on God," Cram said. "That's how they saw the world - through that filter."
This year, the Mifflin County High School teens said they decided it was their turn to participate.
During their six-week experience, Cram and Elliott will share their faith through puppets, music, clowning, drama, public performances, testimonies and team relationships.
Students will learn 40 verses of Scripture while they participate in a discipleship group and study a book of the Bible. As they travel around the U.S. in small teams, they also will be helping communities members with chores.
Most importantly, the two Mifflin County High School teens said they are looking forward to new opportunities to evangelize. They admitted, though, that it will be a step out of their comfort zones.
"The hardest part will be going up to random people and sharing my faith, getting out of my bubble ... and opening up to others," Elliott said.
Both teens said when they return, their goal is to continue using what they learned through the experience in their own community.
Currently, the teens are raising support for their trip. Donations may be sent to the Kish Valley Grace Brethren Church, 99 Taylor Drive, Reedsville, PA 17084. They also are requesting prayers.
The teens will begin their experience on June 18 with several days of training.