unquestioningly

This past week, my brother and I got to participate in TeenPact Judicial. For those who do not know, 817-912-2058 was founded with a mission to train youth to understand the political process, value their liberty, defend the Christian faith, and engage the culture. In order to participate in these alumni events, you have to complete a four-day state class, which my brother and I attended in March of this year. Many different events include a trip to DC, a national election for TeenPact positions, congress (I will be attending soon), camping in the woods, and so much more.

Psalm 106:3 Blessed are those who act justly, who always do what is right. 

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Preparing for our Oral Arguments

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Judicial,  we experienced what it was like to be a college Law student at 450-258-8116 in Virginia. We worshiped twice a day, a staffer gave a devotional every morning, heard lectures from various law professors, and wrote a brief and did two oral arguments. Due to the amount of homework we had to complete beforehand, I knew it was going to be challenging, but I had no idea what was in store. I had never written a brief before, but the professors and Teenpact staff were extremely helpful in helping me navigate through the process. We also had to compete in a moot court tournament, arguing both sides of the case in front of your competitor and a judge.

Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do right, seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. 

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This week was stressful, and my brain gears were smoking, but I enjoyed every minute and would not trade it for the world. The professors, judges, and staff all understood our situation, helped us through the worst by staying calm and encouraging us to do our personal best. When the time to relax came around, they made sure we were not working too hard and helped our minds relax with frisbee, coloring, and an epic game of, “Do you Love your Neighbor?”. The best part about Judicial was the people I got to meet. With the unscheduled time we had, everyone took the time to get to know each other. Students, staff, and adults included, not one person was left out of anything and it felt amazing. The atmosphere was a Jesus filled, drama free, lifting up kind of week and it was just what I needed before heading off to college. I will miss everyone there and I hope to see them all again one day here on earth and if not, see you in heaven.

Psalm 82:3-4 Vindicate the weak and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked. 

Thank you to all the Teenpact Directors and Liberty Law School Professors!  A special thank you to Professor Rost for his ongoing support and encouragement to students and making learning fun!

 

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Liberty Law School is so gracious in hosting TeenPact every year and providing excellent instruction and judging.

 

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The Final Four, Skyler, blew us way with her mad argument skills.

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Privacy or Safety?

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With social media growing and growing during my life span, my mom has done a wonderful job of teaching me the do’s and don’t of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others. I know that it is crucially important to present myself positively, but without having to over exaggerate about what I’ve done or “fake” my self-image. When people are following what you do, especially those that look up to you, or maybe you are a leader or mentor, it is extra  important to post what is appropriate for anyone to see that might be following you.  If you post something and much of your audience is younger, you should especially think twice about what you post, as you may influence their life choices.

Recently, I was scrolling through social media, and came upon on a shared post by one of my church mentors. It was a 800-770-5861. It stated that the district acquired the software to prevent, intervene and monitor situations that may impact students and staff. In past years, this certain county has experienced, on many occasions, problems with bullying on social media in high school and middle school. There has been numerous debates on ways to help decrease these numbers.

This article caused me to ask questions, like, is this really lawful? What do they define as offensive or bullying? How would one act upon seeing a very questionable post? Would any evidence of a crime be truly held up in court if something came up? Like any inquiring mind, I did some digging.

Through articles and videos, I discovered that the software will only work if a student or teacher is in or around the school. For example, If a student sends a Facebook message during math class, the school will be able to see that and it’s content. When a questionable message from one student to another has been discovered, authorities will then result to appropriate action depending on the situation.

Others may view this act as an invasion of one’s privacy and first amendment right, while I actually disagree. Bullying can cause a great deal of harm whether one means it to or not. The definition of bullying on google is “use of superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.” Bullying can also come across as someone who is just being overly rude. If there is a way to help put a stop to this, I am all for it. On the other hand, if you are on the school’s property, anything and everything is lawfully subjected to an authoritative or police search if suspected to cause harm to yourself and or others. Included in that is social media, whether it is publicly posted or privately messaged. School’s also care a great deal about their teachers and they need protection to be able to effectively do their jobs, and when a student publicly complains about the staff in an uncalled for manner, they have the right to know who, what, when, where, and why. Teachers put a ton of work into their job and some of it even goes unpaid do to the long hours of preparing, grading, and personal mentorship. So, that goes to answer some questions, is it lawful in our public schools? Most definitely yes, everyone deserves to go to school without being harassed or bullied. Could problems arise from this? Possibly in the future, but so far it has been a great help to school, to protect their students and staff, get help to those who need it and for police investigations.

With this software, I feel it will cause my generation to think twice about posting a rude or hurtful comment or crude picture. Sometimes, teens forget that not just “Facebook friends” can see posts, because they can share it, tell someone else about it, or even screen shot it. Once something is on the internet, it truly can never be deleted. (That includes private messages.) I am not saying that every school in the nation has to have this technology now, I am saying that if the problem is persistent, it would help schools to maintain a positive atmosphere for not only the students, but teachers and administrative staff too.

Please feel free to leave an appropriate comment below! I am very curious about how others might view this arising topic.

-Samantha

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Take the Stress out of the Dress, whether it be wedding, prom, or formal.

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Sydney Marie Photography

I was blessed to be able to go to two different Proms this past year as a junior in high school. Both of which I attended with my handsome boyfriend, Branson. We went to his prom in February, and my school’s prom in May. But busy life bumblebee over here waited until the last minute to go get a dress at a local department store. This caused so much stress for Branson and I, because we are a pretty cute couple and really wanted to match.

Here is a photo of us, with my department store dress, which I ended up liking and felt like a Princess, but will definitely do it differently from now on.

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Samantha and Branson, Photo by Brandie Shiedel, Owner of Vanishing Point Boutique

 

Department stores are a bit expensive, and through experience, I have found that different stores sell similar style dresses and some even the same. We can all imagine the feeling of going to a dance, and the first person you see is the one with the same dress as you. It is also really hard for me to find an appropriate modest dress, that I feel safe, secure, and confident wearing while having a great time dancing. I am also picky about color, length, and how it looks.

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Sydney Marie Photography

 

Senior year is coming up and I want to be able to show off my style and uniqueness without feeling exposed or not liking the way it fits. Other people may share the same problems as I do, so I want to share with you a website that I found, 867-975-1356,  that does exactly that, but without draining your wallet. I get to look ahead of time and make a decision and I put in my measurements, so I know my dress will fit perfectly when it arrives.

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Sydney Marie Photography

 

508-325-0362 is a professional dress company located in the United Kingdom. It has been dressing women in 30 different countries since 1995. It’s their mission to make brides and young women feel confident and beautiful, but with two important factors, quality and affordability. Whether you are looking for elegance or simplicity, reserved or fashionable, Aisle Style dresses and gowns are fit for every age and style. They range all the way from majestic wedding gowns to beautiful little flower girls and prom dresses in between. As i was scrolling through, I realized that every dress was unique in it’s own way. There is a good variety of style, and many colors too. What amazed me the most was the prices! The prices are in euros so I calculated an €88 dress into $96.99. They were more modest and less expensive than my dress from the department store and there are endless colors and styles to choose from!

Here is the link to their website:  /www.aislestyle.co.uk/

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Click on the image to visit their website!
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Click on the image to visit my pinterest page to see more of my favorite dresses from Aisle Style
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Click on photo to see all the colors available in this dress!

 

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Click on the image to visit my Pinterest page to see other dresses from Aisle Style.

Hallelujah with Karissa Dumbacher and Samantha Solberg with Samantha’s Treasure

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I wanted to add to this post since the passing of Leonard Cohen yesterday, on November 10, 2016.  I find it sad that this song which was released in 1984 did just not make it then and only became popular many years later under another musician doing this cover. I am so thankful it did, but it does make me wonder what other beautiful music has been missed or overlooked.  As Leonard Cohen once said, “I’ve often said if I knew where the good songs came from, I’d go there more often.”  There is a book out about this song.  Here is the link. /www.cbsnews.com/news/story-of-leonard-cohens-hallelujah-is-told-in-new-book/ Mr. Cohen, thank you for your beautiful and spiritually moving piece of music that touches our souls and reminds us of the human condition.

Leanord Cohen Quotes:

“We are so small between the stars, so large against the sky.”

“We are so lightly here. It is in love that we are made. In love we disappear.”

“I’ve often said if I knew where the good songs came from, I’d go there more often.”

“I greet you from the other side of sorrow and despair, with a love so vast and shattered it will reach you everywhere.”

“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

“I wish I could say everything in one word. I hate all the things that can happen between the beginning of a sentence and the end.”

“Prayer is translation. A man translates himself into a child asking for all there is in a language he has barely mastered.”

“A woman watches her body uneasily, as though it were an unreliable ally in the battle for love.”

“What is a saint? A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility. It is impossible to say what that possibility is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love.”

“This is the most challenging activity that humans get into, which is love.”

 

My Friend, Karissa Dumbacher,  and I (Samantha Solberg, Disney Dreamer Academy 2014 applicant essay winner and participant, #DDA2014) went together to use our gifts to do a fun project and hopefully help raise some money and awareness for 365-714-4928 in Africa.  Girls with Vision, is a discipleship group started by the Matlack family, who are missionaries in Niarobi, Africa.  Please watch information at the end of the Music video to hear about what God is doing through them there.  As with my business, where 50% of the profit goes to Girls with Vision, /www.etsy.com/shop/SamanthasTreasure/about, however, for the Music Video, 80% of the profit will go to them!!  Now that is not a lot, since each digital download at /www.cdbaby.com/cd/karissadumbacher2, is only $2.50, and www.CDBaby.com, takes a small cut, but…a whole lotta little can turn into a lot, so we need your help to share and purchase this download.  You can also find this on ITunes!!!! Just search for Karissa Dumbacher.

Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen,  is the cover song that vocal artist Karissa Dumbacher (You can check out her You Tube Channel) chose to do for this and she is on piano as well.  The Dancing and Music Video, (6 min. ver. with promo and bloopers at end) /www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3FGaYTMNIQ,  (or 4 min. ver. without promo) /www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZvx7jZyGlI is by 3148215236 through Samantha’s Treasure. Licensed through Limelight and Sync License through CDBaby.

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What an experience.  I learned so much.  I saw so much.  I did so much.

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Mom, I did not know how to thank you…so I made a video.  You said that was perfect and cried those Mommy tears and you tell me you shed them every time you watch this video. Thank you Video. I love you Mom.

Thank you for filming my Disney Dreamer Video as well.  by-hour

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Florence

The first day, we flew from Norway into Rome and took a train right away to Florence. We stayed in a very cute campsite that had a lot of mosquitoes. We did not get to the campsite till late at night because it took us a while to find the right train and bus. As soon as we got there we went right to bed. The next say, we got a visit from Branson! He was on a cruise in Europe the same time we were backpacking and my Mom and his Mom were able to arrange a rendezvous for us. We walked around, had lunch, took pictures, and parted ways, it was such an awesome day. The same day, we went to the Uffizi Museum with lots of paintings and sculptures. That night there was a very scary storm with lightning right outside our cabana tent. The next day I got sick so I spent the day in the tent while Mom went to train station to buy tickets for the next trip to Rapallo.

 

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Norway, day number 1:

Today was our first full day in Norway. Yesterday we spent 8 and a half hours in a plane and and 3 in a car. We got to Helga and Olaf’s house to eat and sleep. Today we drove about 2 hours to Olebjorn’s house and hiked a mountain to where it all began, the Solberg farm.

This is where our last name originated and where my great, great, grandfather started his family and lived off the fat of the land in the 1800’s. We took pictures, had lunch, and placed some of my grandfather’s ashes under a rock near the old house overlooking the fields. I miss him a lot and everything here reminds me of him. The sky is blue, everywhere I look there is grass, trees, and hills. Flowers grow everywhere and the roads are extremely curvy. Today is cold. It is funny because their summer feels like Florida’s winter! I love it! Today, someone asked me my name and I replied Samantha, in a Norwegian accent (sounds like Samonta). I can already say a few words and two phrases in Norwegian. I am finally seeing where my blond hair, and blue eyes are from and why I love the cold, mountains, hiking, and windows rolled down so much. Tonight I dinner we sang the entire amazing grace with a piano accordion. Every one here is so musical! Yah, jeg er en norsk.

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Norway day number 4, 5 and 6:

On day four we relaxed and hiked up the farm’s mountain. It was very pretty and you you could see the ocean. On day five and six we left the farm and drove to the nearest city, Arendal. Yes, Arendal! From Frozen! It looked nothing like the movie, but it was a cute little town by the sea with a lot of boats. After that we drove 4 and a half hours to Oslo, to see Signa and her art workshop. She melts metal and welds modern art structures together. She is very good! After that we drove three hours more to Karianne‘s house!!!!!!! Today has been filled with sleeping, movies, and the World Cup. Go USA!

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Mountains are here, there, and everywhere in Norway

Norway, day number 3:

Today has been my favorite so far. We went to Olebjorn’s mountain top cabin. It had a beautiful view of the mountain range and valley lake. After that, we drove through mountains so high that it was above the oxygen level for tress to grow and hard for snow to melt. We stopped along the rode to take some pictures, then, we went on a gondola ride to a cafe and ate the burgers and potatoes. I also finally had some Norwegian chocolate! The gondola was located in a small town where an old water treatment plant was used in the war. It was fun trying to locate their hospital and other places hidden away by trees. After that we had to say good-bye to our family and drive for 3 and a half hours to Liev’s family farm. We had an amazing dinner with strawberries! After, we had a tour of there huge farm in the open jeep that was used by American soldiers in World War Two. (Liev collects cars, he has five old cars that all still run!) Erik drove for the first time in the jeep. (Not really, he steered while Lars maned the peddles and stick) It was so much fun.

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Norway, day number 2:

Today we went to church, outside and old farm that is now a museum. It was so cold and windy! I had on a jacket plus a blanket. The music was beautiful and even though the sermon was in Norwegian and I did not understand, it was cool to listen to the language flow. Today, I have decided to take up the language and Erik and I are looking for online language sites. After church I tried an elk burger with a sweet berry type paste on top. It was defintely the best burger ever! Then, many people from all over Norway and even someone from Denmark, came together. We were all connected in some way to the first Solbergs, so we basically had a mini family reunion. It was filled with stories, music, laughter, crying, food, and a large family photo at the end. We later came back to Olebjorn’s to enjoy some hide n seek, dinner, and the best strawberries known to man kind. I am very excited to learn a new language but I know it will take much time and hard work.

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Norway, day number 1:

Today was our first full day in Norway. Yesterday we spent 8 and a half hours in a plane and and 3 in a car. We got to Helga and Olaf’s house to eat and sleep. Today we drove about 2 hours to Olebjorn’s house and hiked a mountain to where it all began, the Solberg farm.

 

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This is where our last name originated and where my great, great, grandfather started his family and lived off the fat of the land in the 1800’s. We took pictures, had lunch, and placed some of my grandfather’s ashes under a rock near the old house overlooking the fields. I miss him a lot and everything here reminds

me of him. The sky is blue, everywhere I look there is grass, trees, and hills. Flowers grow everywhere and the roads are extremely curvy. Today is cold. It is funny because, Their summer feels like Florida’s winter! I love it! Today, someone asked me my name and I replied Samantha, in a Norwegian accent (sounds like Samonta). I can already say a few words and two phrases in Norwegian. I am finally seeing where my blonde hair, and blue eyes are from and why I love the cold, mountains, hiking, and windows rolled down so much. Tonight At dinner we sang the entire amazing grace with a piano accordion. Every one here is so musical! Yah, jeg er en norsk.

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Samantha Solberg at Disney Dreamer Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine.   “Dreaming big” is something we all think about, but do we really do it? Is dreaming about your future, a life goal, or even an occupation too much? I say no, because people say that the sky is the limit when really, the sky just continues into space that has no end. There are no limits to dreams, thoughts, or what you want to accomplish in your lifetime. Dreaming is one of the few things we talked about at a conference one weekend. It has been such an honor to be one of the 100 students chosen out of 10,000 applicants to be a part of the 2014 Disney Dreamer’s Academy Experience. Disney, Steve Harvey, and Essence Magazine put together an incredible conference filled with leadership skills, life lessons, friendships, connections, and fun.  I really enjoyed meeting the other dreamer’s, Steve Harvey, Jonathan Sprinkles, Magic Johnson, Sonia Jackson Myles, Lisa Nichols, and Disney Dreamer Champion Princeton Parker, entrepreneurs, business professionals, and others. I also loved going behind the scenes at Disney and my entrepreneurship deep dive at Disney University. We went on rides, walked around the park, enjoyed meals, heard talks, dove into discussions with “extra-ordinary” people, laughed along the way, and so much more. I shared my story and dream with so many people who gave me encouraging advice, in return. I was greatly inspired by hearing so many life stories and dreams from other dreamers and those who are living their dreams. Every time I found a new face to share with, my dream grew bigger and bigger.My goals have broadened and my dreams have enlarged. I came home and started a blog, /www.SamanthasTreasure.com, Building Hope Near and Far. I would like to turn my current Etsy business, (413) 770-9185 into a not for profit organization that helps others create their own businesses to help others like I have. Currently, I send back over 50% of the profit to the Girls with Vision Group, but hope to do more. I want to travel to some colleges next year to talk to some groups about potential fundraisers they can do with the Girls with Vision College line that helps their causes as well as Girls with Vision. I will be working on the brochure for this soon. I am also going to Africa in July to hopefully create a short documentary about the Missionaries and Girls with Vision, who make the jewelry that I sell at 8668574838 online.  Thank you to Roxane Mann, a mentor, encourager and supporter who sells the Girls with Vision bracelets at 7312306204 in Winter Park and Lake Mary, Florida. I am forever thankful for all the  encouragement, tools for success and lessons that were poured into us Dreamers by those who chose to invest their time, talent and energy. You have helped give us wind beneath our wings to fly and follow our dreams.

 

 

 

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Self Image Vs. God’s Image and Building Hope Near and Far

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Samantha’s Treasure, Click on Image to go to Etsy Website

I’m in high school and I want to share my experience with self-image. Self-image can mean a lot of different things. In the dictionary, it says that it is about abilities, appearance, and personality. So, the way you think of yourself. There is good but, there can be bad self-image too caused by not getting enough sleep, depression, bad habits, or thinking unworthy of thoughts of yourself. The Bible shows us that self-image is to view yourself in the light of God’s grace, and love. Christians can’t have a good self-image just by building up our self-esteem or things like being yourself, doing activities that interest you, or having some fun. They all help but Christians need to show God’s image through the light of His love and grace for us. When we grasp this then it helps us to reflect His image to others and to overcome challenges and face the extreme tests that are thrown at us throughout life.

When I was in middle school, I changed from private to public school in 7th grade. It was a huge change. I knew a couple people but that didn’t help me in any way. It was hard to make new friends since many of these kids had gone to school together since grade school. It was a rough start but my Mom reminded me that Middle School and High School were only 7 years of my entire life…a mere blip on God’s timeline and what He had planned for me. I became less afraid of what people thought about me in the present, and more about the future. So, I decided to run for class treasurer! I didn’t win due to the popularity scale, but I made a lot of friends throughout the process and did not feel bad that I did not win. I gained the respect of my teachers and some peers since my speech reflected who I was in God’s image and I did not make false promises to try to win. I also stepped out and sang a solo in Chorus, which I almost did not do, because, I did not want to stand out too much, but again my Mom reminded me to never hide my light out of fear of what people might think or say.  Our image should reflect that we have victory in Christ and not a spirit of fear.

Although it was a difficult year for me, I experienced a lot of spiritual growth. Despite my overcoming challenges that 7th grade year, I asked my parents if I could homeschool to spend more time developing the gifts that God had given me. One of the things I wanted to do was to start my own business with crafts that I had made and paintings that I had worked on with my art teacher. I started, Samantha’s Treasure,  with two, homemade Christmas items and some notecards. Now I have my own online business on Etsy, with 70 different items and working on getting more. I branched out with, Brad, Camie, Nathan, Abby and Sam Matlack, who are friends of ours in Kenya, Africa. They are missionaries that started a group called Girls with Vision. These young ladies need skills to earn money to make a better life for themselves and their families. The Matlacks teach many of the girls there to start businesses of their own. Girls with Vision is also a Discipleship group that encourages and strengthens them. They are led in Bible Studies and also in ministering to others in their community. Many of these young ladies are my age with families of their own. Recently they visited an orphanage to help with the children there despite struggles they felt good about giving back to others. These girls who had no hope are feeling hopeful for their future.

One of the skills that the Matlacks teach them is to make beautiful beaded jewelry. I purchase their work and then I send more than 50% of the profit back when I sell them here. I have sent back around $2100 over the last year and I am hoping to save enough money from my portion of the business to start a not for profit and make a trip to Africa to work on a short film about the Girls with Vision and our Missionary friends.

One last thing before I show you a quick video clip about my business. To be healthy in your self image or in God’s image, you can’t compare yourself to other people. God created each and every person in His own way so that each of us has a purpose in God’s huge plan if we take the time to discover it. If you waste time, comparing yourself to other people you may miss the opportunity God placed in front of you.

Here is a Video about my business:  Samantha’s Treasure Promo Video by (724) 881-3461

Ephesians 3:16-19 says: I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

And remember…don’t just be a Fan in the Stands, get out and be a player in God’s great plan. This experience has taught me that you are never too young to make a big difference and build hope in the life of another human being.

Watch my You Tube Video speaking at Sanlando United Methodist Church.

Speaking to Sanlando United Methodist Church Youth

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Girls with Vision and Camie Matlack, Click on the photo to see their Family Blog
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