Naperville residents grabbed their hammers and tool belts and headed south to help others.
More than 90 students and adults from the Grace United Methodist Church traveled to Jonesboro, Arkansas for their annual mission trip.
The group worked each day with Habitat for Humanity on four houses, building two from the ground up.
“By the time we left their community was 100 percent involved,” said Gaye Lynn Loufek, the Director of Youth Ministries at Grace. “The mayor was excited, churches were excited to have us there, churches hosted us for dinner. There was so much community involvement. Now they have two homes that they have built from the ground up.”
Most participants were new to construction work, but quickly learned how to drywall, insulate a house, and build walls and fences.
This is the tenth time the church has done a mission trip of this nature.
“I love the work. It’s awesome when you tell people, ‘Oh yeah, I built a house this week.’ They are just like, “That’s so cool!’” said Claire Leitzen, a mission trip participant. “And just being with my friends and growing in my faith. I think that’s an awesome thing.”
Past trips have included New Orleans, Louisiana; Asheville, North Carolina; and Pikeville, Kentucky. Next year’s location has not yet been determined.
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