Church Volunteers Come To Coast For Mission Work

They're pounding, drilling, and breaking out quite a sweat under the hot South Mississippi sun. Believe it or not, the 40 church members from Illinois chose to come to Moore Community House in Biloxi this summer to work for free.

"They're participating in every aspect of our programs here," said Mary Winslow with the community house. "It's real hot in Mississippi. They come from a cooler climate, and they are here digging and being very dedicated."

You can see the dedication in the home. So far they've fixed the carport, put lattice around the property to protect the children and dug a fruit and vegetable garden for the community.

"We're just in the fledgling stage of doing eight plots here, 4 by 8 plots here, which will produce enough food for about a dozen people," said Rev. Thomas Henderson, who co-ordinated the program.

The volunteers are also watching over the children in the early Head Start Program and conducting day and evening vacation Bible school.

"When I help people, it's like doing what God wants me to do," volunteer Lydia Juico said. "That's what mission is for."

This is Lori Gross' fourth church mission. This year, she brought her mom along. Both agree that the satisfaction they get is indescribable.

"It's been a wonderful experience," Kathy Gross said. "We've only been here for a couple of days, and we got to meet a lot of people and got some time to witness and spend some time with the children. It's really been a blessing."

"The first mission trip I was on, I was a bit leery of that because we carried around a hammer all week instead of going to the beach and going to have fun, but I'm sure we had just as much fun as they did," Lori Gross said.

The volunteers range in age from 11 to 75 years old. This is their first trip to Mississippi. Their week-long mission ends on Saturday.