Louisville Teens Rebuild Bay St. Louis Home - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Louisville Teens Rebuild Bay St. Louis Home

They gobbled up spicy shrimp, and then donned their tool belts. Lunch was over. The Crestwood Baptist Church youth group had a house to frame.

Meredith Salyers was one of the volunteers in Bay St. Louis on this post hurricane mission.

"We came because we wanted to serve," the adult chaperone said. "We felt like we needed to be here the most. We didn't want to go to Myrtle Beach like we've always done. We wanted to be here so we could do whatever we could to help after the hurricane."

Katrina wiped out the home that once sat on this Bay St. Louis property. It reappeared this week after 76 teens and three dozen adults from Crestwood Baptist Church near Louisville showed up.

"It's amazing to me. I can't believe the work these kids have done," Salyers said. "We almost framed the whole house in one day. So that was just a blessing to see the kids work that hard and really do a good job."

While some of the Crestwood kids worked, others wrote scripture on the cement foundation.

"We feel like that's a huge part of this house and really the reason we're here, to show the love of Christ to others," Salyers said.

Bertina Burge felt that love.

"I'm just amazed that we've been blessed enough to have these people over here and help us build a new house," the Bay St. Louis homeowner said. "It's just amazing what they've been able to do."

Burge and her husband are the longtime owners of this hurricane damaged property. They oversaw the placement of every board used to rebuild their frame.

"These kids have been amazing. They are so compassionate and generous. It's just amazing," said Burge. "It's just been such a blessing for us to have them come here. They touched our hearts and our lives so much, they don't even know."

Doug and Bertina Burge had plans to rebuild their home by Christmas. Now that they've gotten help from the Kentucky church group, they're pretty sure they can move out of their FEMA trailer a few weeks sooner.

by Brad Kessie

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