From youth group member Shelby Schmidt:
This past week I participated in a work camp in Arlington. The work camp works with code enforcement to find out what homes in the area have been fined. Then the local church that hosts the camp goes out and asks residents if they’d like their yard and house redone for free. In exchange, they asked the residents to tell a bit about themselves so that the students would know who they are helping. The students that participate in this camp spend $50 to participate. This money is used for the materials that are needed to repair the houses.
This year there were nine groups of about twenty kids. One group, “Special Forces,” was assigned the job of cutting down overgrown bushes and trees. They also would fix the rotten wood on the house. The other eight groups were put in charge of scraping old paint off the house, adding fresh paint to the outside, repairing windows, and clearing any smaller plants or branches out of the way for the owners.
As a student that participated in this camp this year I was touched. The couple that my group helped had a sad story. The husband was an alcoholic and the wife had cancer. The husband was so grateful each day for all the work that we were doing. He brought us popsicles and cold water one day to show his appreciation. On the last day, he wheeled his wife out, and she got to see her freshly painted house and wheelchair ramp. She was so moved that she cried. It made me see how God used my group to help just this one family and made me glad that I got to go. It was hard and hot work but when I saw their faces on the last day all that I could feel was love and joy. I can’t wait to participate again in the future. I would encourage anyone that gets the chance to do the same.
Check out the news coverage of this outreach effort here: http://www.star-telegram.com/latest-news/article213016264.html
Here's a video showing the work the kids did this last week: