They come to Mississippi from all over the country ever summer and go to different communities and do volunteer work. They also come under many names and banners.
A group from ‘World Changers' is in Natchez this week, and what these youngsters accomplish while they are there will make a difference in the lives of many people.
Earl Randle has lived in this house in Natchez since he was two-months old. That was over 60 years ago, and the house has gone down over the past several years.
I'm a kidney patient so I ain't been able to do it, you know," said Randle."
But it's getting done this week because a crew of youngsters from World Changers working in conjunction with the Adams-Union Baptist Association is here doing fix up and paint up on his home.
"It makes a difference," said Randle. "When I turned the corner yesterday I thought I was in the wrong neighborhood."
And another crew is working on a house right behind Earl's. Not only is there a new coat of paint going on, a new porch is being installed. Etta James says it was in need of some fix-up.
"Yes indeed. I fell through the porch." said James. "I was standing over there and I fell through the porch."
These youngsters are from Texas and Louisiana and Alabama and Georgia…and right at home in Natchez. Not exactly the vision of an exotic mission trip for the home town-ers.
"You go off. You go to a different state to go on a mission trip," said Haleigh Johnson. "But then the more I thought about it I was glad. Because I was going to be able to see a change in our own community."
"It's helping people that needs help," said Crew Leader Lamar Acy of Wesson.
And maybe even more than that. The houses get fixed, sure. But there are other reasons for this summer mission project.
"The World Changers Project is built on one premise; we're trying to teach children how to have a servant attitude," said Mississippi Coordinator Dale Little. "This is the main reason we have World Changers. Everybody thinks it's about fixing up houses. Well that's part of it and that's a plus. That helps the city, it helps the homeowner and it helps the neighborhood."
"You can see a total heart transformation in the majority of them," said World Changers staffer Kaite Bealsey. "They realize, something clicks in the middle of the week and they say it's not about me. Life is not about me. It is about going out and serving others and being the hands and feet of Christ."
"Personally, for me it's a way of giving back and just a way of helping others instead of being selfish and doing something for a week to help myself," said Julie Boudreau, a volunteer from Baton Rouge.
So thanks to the volunteers from World Changers who give up a week of their summer vacation to change the lives of people who need help. And also who discover a difference in their own lives in the process.
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