The Frederick United Methodist Church Youth Group went on a mission trip to Slidell, La. July 22 – 29. Youth Director Ann Clayton organized the trip.
Participants on the trip were Ryan Ard, Douglas Basham, Molly Biggs, Kelnn Carpenter, AJ Chapa, Logan Coleman, Kendyll Ellis, Jarrett Garza, Corbin Hernandez, Bailey Howard, Jamie Jannaman, Marty Marshall, Malachi Newton, Brooke Orr, Summer Watson, Chris Dodson, Alison Ellis and Becky Webb.
According to Pastor Chris Dodson, the mission team worked on houses that had been damaged by floods multiple times.
“We built stairs and handicapped ramps into houses because all the houses are elevated so people were actually trapped in their houses,” Dodson said. “We did that the first two days and then the last two days we went and reclaimed a house that had been overtaken by trees and damage and water and things like that for a lady and her husband who were getting ready to start fixing the house when he suddenly passed away—so the kids came in and she’s got a front and a back yard now, porch, all the mold is out, and she had a chance to have her home again.”
The team not only rebuilt houses, but they also built relationships with the people they were helping.
“One of the homeowners, he and his wife came out in the afternoon. It was 110 and he came out with the colored icees for the kids,” Dodson said. “He used to be a carpenter and he would come out and teach the kids. His wife struggled to walk and his health was declining from cancer but he would still come out and work with the kids. It was a neat interaction—he called them his angels from another state. It was great.”
Alison Ellis is a teacher for Frederick Public Schools. She explained how Christ-like the teenagers were while they worked together.
“Their goal of being the hands and feet of Christ was met times 100 and you all would be so proud of the Christian example they represented for our community,” Alison Ellis said. “We were collectively just referred to as ‘Oklahoma’ while there. So a good example for the people of our state as well. It’s like students that have ever been in my class will always and forever be ‘my kids.’ Well, that rule has now extended toward these kiddos. They are now all forever and always ‘my kids’ and I am one proud mama.”
Reach Kathleen Guill at 580-379-0588, ext. 2602.