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Waxahachie, Texas - May 11, 2012 - Southwestern Assemblies of God (SAGU) traveling worship band Ransomed went to Costa Rica on March 31, 2012, to lead worship at a youth retreat for Assemblies of God missionary kids (MKs) for the Caribbean and Latin American regions.

Ransomed is comprised of five vocalists and a live band that covers a wide spectrum of genres, from contemporary worship to a cappella and gospel stylings. The group traveled to the outskirts of San Jose, Costa Rica, to provide music leadership in a week-long retreat for missionary kids at the LaGarita campgrounds.

The members of Ransomed lead worship during morning and evening services and ministered as camp counselors to approximately 50 teenagers and young adults of missionary families. The retreat was sponsored by the International Society of Missionary Kids, a global support and development ministry led by Chad Phillips. The organization is a part of the Assemblies of God World Missions (AGWM) Personnel and Member Care organization.

Del and Christi Guynes are faculty advisors of Ransomed and believe ministering to the children of missionaries is vital. “A lot of them are coming to the end formative years at home and are making very important decisions about their future,” said Del Guynes.

"We know missionary kids have unique challenges living abroad," Christi Guynes said. "Having the opportunity to be around students who love God and can listen can be a great encouragement."

In addition to representing SAGU at the retreat, Ransomed ministered during the weekend at a sectional youth meeting and a local, Spanish-speaking Assembly of God congregation.

SAGU student and third-year member of Ransomed Bryce Jennings acknowledges the impact the retreat had on the missionary kids and the Ransomed members. "All of the kids came expecting God," Jennings said. "At the last service we heard testimonies of what God did in students' lives and were amazed to see how God was faithful to meet all of their individual needs."

"My expectation was to see students find restoration from God and for chains to be broken. He did that and so much more," said Jennings.

Ransomed's Costa Rica trip is the first time they have been overseas, although they have been on numerous domestic outreaches, including Teen Challenges in Tennessee, Colorado and Wisconsin as well as ministering in local churches.

Members of the group were responsible for raising money for their airfare. Ransomed sent letters to friends and family to raise funds and conducted a couple of on-campus fundraisers including a Valentine's Day talent show. Claremore Assembly of God in Oklahoma held a bake auction with a professional auctioneer in order to raise funds for the team's trip. One pie sold for over $600, and a more $3,000 was raised at the auction.

SAGU has four traveling music groups: Ransomed, Anthem, The Harvesters and The Call. 

Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The University was established in 1927 and now offers more than 60 associate, bachelor’s or master’s degrees on campus or online. More information is available at or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU. 

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