Lauren Collins was too scared to cut pieces of wood with a power tool. After her peers finished chopping the board into equal-sized pieces, Collins helped drill them together to build a wheelchair ramp at the home of a disabled Killeen resident.
Collins, 12, was among 52 out-of-town church volunteers who arrived at First United Methodist Church of Killeen on Sunday. The group, from Lake Cities United Methodist Church in Dallas, First United Methodist Church in Mesquite and Trinity United Methodist Church in Arlington, worked Monday through Thursday to finish up projects at five sites in the Killeen area, including repairing flooring and roofing, painting and building wheelchair ramps.
“My friends are always talking about how fun mission trips are and I thought it would be fun to help people and have fun at the same time,” said Collins, adding it was her first mission trip. “I’m definitely going to come back. I really enjoy helping people because I like feeling that humbleness.”
Lauryn Kerr, 13, went on the youth trip last year and said she enjoyed the friendship, fellowship and charity of the mission.
“It was my first time and I really liked it,” Kerr said. “It feels good to know that we’re helping out other people, and I get to be with my friends.”
Christina Norris, associate director of student ministries at Trinity United Methodist Church in Arlington, said the children volunteered as part of the Central Texas Conference Youth and Missions, which conducts service projects across Texas throughout the year. They made sure the projects they took on were small enough for them to tackle in the four days they were in town.
“We have construction coordinators who will bring them supplies and kind of show them what to do,” Norris said. “We have program coordinators that take care of all the worship and evening activities.”
Drew Johnson-Scott, an adult supervisor, said he enjoys the trips.
“It’s always important that we spread God’s love with everyone and one of the best ways is to help those in need,” Johnson-Scott said. “The people we’re helping out, they might not have the resources to make a wheelchair ramp or get their house painted, so that’s what we’re here for.”