Hundreds of Teens Change The World - - The News for South Mississippi

Hundreds of Teens Change The World

Hundreds of young people are discovering that they have power to change the world.

Each summer, World Changers offers middle school and high school students the chance to go on mission trips across the United States and Canada. This week nearly 400 teens are working in hurricane damaged homes in Biloxi and Gulfport.

"I'm from Prentiss, Mississippi," said Zach Harper. "A little bitty town."

The 12-year-old says back in his hometown, he hadn't realized other kids around the country were also looking to make a difference. He was surprised to see how many teens showed up to help the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

"It's fun to be here and see everybody do so much work in so little time. In two days, we've almost done like half this house. "

As part of a World Changers mission trip, 380 middle and high school students are hanging sheet rock, painting, and roofing. It's something some young people admit they'd never even considered doing before.

"It's something you can't really describe," said Emily Snipes, a teen from North Carolina. "You see how badly off people are and you feel a calling to come down here and help."

World Changers is part of the Southern Baptist Convention. Officials say the teens on the trip do more than work up a sweat. They're also learning to tap in to their spirituality.

Nicole Pogue of World Changers said, "A lot of kids have never shared their faith before, so it helps them open up and maybe share their testimony or get comfortable talking to strangers about God."

"Every night we do a different prayer," said Snipes. "We pray and then somebody preaches to us. Last night they talked about people helping each other and it makes you want to do better and tell people why you're here."

The teens say they hope to change many people's opinions about young people.

Zach Harper said, "Most of them probably think that we're like hoodlums who don't know what we're doing and can't work, but we're proving them wrong."

Volunteers from World Changers are also doing hurricane relief in New Orleans.

by Danielle Thomas

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