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Mission Serve makes a difference

Two hundred and twenty six youth came together from all over the Southeast and even as far away as New Jersey to help residents of Colleton County this past week. The out of town guest met up with forty nine local volunteers to make a total of two hundred and seventy five servants who hustled all week from job site to job site and worked where they were needed with no questions asked. The working conditions were less than favorable. Temperatures soared into the upper nineties with not a cloud in sight, yet not one complaint was heard. This unusual group of youth came to our county with a group known as Mission Serve, an organization which was started in 2003.

309The concept is quite simple. Church youth groups who are looking for a summer youth mission trip can pick a destination thru mission serve. Each youth then must pay a fee to participate. To come to Walterboro the youth had to pay $250 each. Mission Serve contracted with Colleton County Middle School and the youth groups were allowed to camp out in the building in their sleeping bags for the week. Midori Smith a member of North River Baptist Church out of Roswell, Georgia really enjoyed calling the middle school her home for the week.

“It is really fun hanging out in the cafeteria with everyone. It is kind of weird because it is my summer break and we are at school, but I am making some great friends from all over. This is my first year being a part of Mission Serve and I will defiantly do it again,” said Smith. Breakfast and dinner were also served to the workers at the Colleton County Middle School. The student workers would wake at 5 am, get ready, have breakfast, and leave by 7 am for their job site. Some were painting, others were replacing roofs, building handicap ramps, constructing flower boxes, planting gardens, and witnessing to anyone they could come into contact with.

Home owner Mary Singleton was extremely excited when she found out she had been chosen from the applicants. Singleton, a double above the knee amputee, had been confined to her home for the past eight months as her handicap ramp was insufficient and dangerous, not to mention not build to code. She could not have imagined how beautiful her new ramp would look. She inspired the youth so much they completed her ramp in just two and a half days. They even went on to build her some planters for her porch that are on her level and filled them with flowers so she can garden. “I told the children to go home and thank their parents for raising them to care for others and to have the courage to share God’s love,” said Singleton.

Construction Coordinator Wayne Lake invited his friend Mike Marcie, a member of Capstone Community Church in Anderson, SC to come to Walterboro and help with Mission Serve. The two met while working at Mission Serve in Rock Hill, SC together. It was a friendship that blossomed immediately. Marcie spent his time in Walterboro helping Lake make sure the twelve projects ran smoothly and the twenty one crews 314knew where they were should be and what they should be doing. “I have really enjoyed Walterboro. This is a beautiful area with lots of beautiful people,” said Marcie.

During the week Mission Serve threw a block party down town for everyone in the community. They had games and face painting. Food was served. “It was a huge success” said Mission Serve Church Coordinator Linda Henderson. “Our community churches really helped out this year and helped us make this event such a success. Hopefully next year will be even better,” said Henderson. Despite the heat, the youth made a huge impact on our community this year and we will plan on seeing Mission Serve again next year.

Christie Slocum (503 Posts)