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A trip to better the lives of others

Posted: May 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: May 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Using a hand post-hole digger, Christopher Howell digs one of six holes needed for posts for the patio deck he, Richard Hauer and James Allison built during their spring break missionary trip.

 

A group of First Presbyterian Church of Newhall youth missionaries recently spent their time off of school repairing homes for the less fortunate in Florida.

The mission trip was part of Team Effort, a nondenominational service group based in Georgia that maintains work camps in cities across America and beyond.

The teens decided to travel to Jacksonville, Fla. for about a week and worked around the clock to make run-down homes livable again for families.

“The group gives youths — junior high to college students — the opportunity to tangibly help improve the living conditions of poor families by rebuilding and repairing homes,” team leader James Allison said. “My teens held saws, hammers, brushes and other tools in their hands. And they built and repaired things. They learned how to work with their hands. I saw some real growth.”

Teens Hanna Karzin, Claire Edwards, Victoria Stokes, Richard Hauer and Christopher Howell, along with adult chaperones were split up among the homes and shared responsibilities that ranged from repairing patios, renovating bedrooms and rebuilding stairs.

While the girls worked on the two bedrooms, the boys constructed a patio deck in the backyard. By the end of the fourth day of the mission trip, the floor section of the patio deck was completed, leaving the stairs to be completed by another group.

“These kids came to help people,” team leader Sarah Bolin-Tidwell said. “They worked supper hard every day. And when we returned, we knew we did well.”

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