Smoky’s Stack on African mission trip

Smoky’s Stack on African mission trip


Smoky’s Stack on African mission trip


Tiffany Stack has not spoken to her daughter for days, even in this handheld and wireless age.

And there is no expectation that the communication blackout will be lifted any time soon.

But that’s OK.

Meredith Stack is a rising junior at Smoky Mountain who runs cross-country and plays soccer. Right now, though, all her energies are being harnessed by a Teen Missions International all-girls, well-drilling team that touched down in the African country of Malawi on Tuesday.

Meredith put in two weeks of boot-camp-style training in Florida and raised the $4,500 needed for the trip before leaving the United States.

“We’re very excited for her, and, obviously, we miss her a lot,” Tiffany said.

“As a family, we’re all excited for the amount of maturity and other skills that she is learning through this. Not many teenagers would give up their cell phone for two months, let alone live in these kind of conditions.”

Meredith has been on medical mission trips to Ecuador and Mexico. But neither of those experiences lasted longer than 10 days.

She will not return to the U.S until Aug. 6, and even then Meredith will be debriefed before being released to come home Aug. 11. In addition to drilling wells, Meredith may help install a soccer field and volleyball court at an orphanage.

The Stack family attends Alliance Bible Church in Sylva and found out about the Teen Missions International program through a neighbor.

“I dropped her off (for training) on June 18,” Tiffany said.

“We keep checking the Teen Missions International website for updates, and, so far, all we’ve heard is that they arrived safely with their luggage.”

Meredith and Smoky Mountain were honored in April for having the highest cumulative grade point average (3.681) of any girls cross-country team in the state.

“I’ve never seen a bad side to that girl,” Mustangs cross-country coach Pam Shuler said.

“Meredith is a wonderful human being. She is so bright and intelligent with good morals and values. When you’re a coach, it’s always great to have good athletes. But when you have all the characteristics that she does, it really makes it fun.”

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