Teen Volunteers Learn Construction On The Job

You would never know by looking at their work, but a group of teens from Colonial Heights Baptist Church in Ridgeland have basically no experience nailing up cyprus siding.

"We came Monday expecting someone with expertise," says Student Pastor Craig Brown. "But we ended up having to figure it out ourselves."

And the adults who accompanied them on their Senior mission trip, says Brown, weren't much help either.

"Unfortunately the adults didn't have experience either."

They are fortunate in the fact that they're working on the Saucier home of Bob Dyess, who knows his way around power tools.

"I've had enough carpentry and building experience that I gave them a little course in training and safety," says Dyess.  "And especially about people getting as many as six nails in the head from a nail gun, if they're not careful."

Thanks to that lesson, in just four short days, 17-year-old Heather Allen has gone from careful to quick.

"Yeah, they're starting to call me Rosie the Riveter now," says Allen. "So I feel pretty good about that."

Heather and her counterparts paid their own way to be a part of South Mississippi's rebuilding process.

"Oh, it's a blessing," says 18-year-old Tyler Weir. "I've never really built a house. This is my first house actually putting up. It's quiet an experience."

But building houses is only a part of their mission.

"They also work in the community, visiting kids and adults and getting them interested in coming back to church," says Dyess.

And Bob says if they do God's work as hard and fast as this work, their mission will be a resounding success.

"They don't want to go home in the afternoon," says Dyess. "They want to stay and work, work, work."