Mount Baker graduate ready for 2-year mission trip

The Bellingham Herald/June 23, 2005
By Emily Weiner

Chung Hwa Krishnek, who graduated from Mount Baker High School this month, will leave in August on a two-year mission trip with the Unification Church, which is led by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

"I want to strengthen my faith and let it be part of my life, for all of my life," said Krishnek.

She and her family drive to Seattle about once a month from Whatcom County to the closest Unification Church, she said. She's been a member all her life.

The mission trip starts in New York City with a three-week kick-off workshop. Krishnek then will be assigned to a seven-member team to travel across the United States, mostly to college campuses.

"Fund-raising takes up most of our first year," she said, "maybe going door-to-door and on college campuses."

She said the group would set up small stands to sell wind chimes, laser-print photos, other little trinkets and sometimes flowers.

"Witnessing - to tell about our faith - takes up most of the second year."

They will be talking mainly to college students and also doing service projects. They might work with urban children or restore habitat.

Krishnek, who is 18, decided to go on the mission trip when she was in eighth grade.

"Both of my sisters did it and they had a great time. Many of my friends have done it. It's been an eye-opening experience for them. It's what I need before going into college."

She plans to attend Western Washington University to study graphic design or education.

She's excited about the trip and anxious.

"But I know, I'm guaranteed, if I put my whole heart into it, it will be a life-changing experience."

She said she's hoping for a change of heart.

"I hope to get over my selfishness, my stubbornness. And to keep an open mind and an open heart."

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