SYCAMORE – More than 160 teens and 40 adults traveled to Houston, Texas, the week of July 20 through Life Missions, a ministry of Sycamore United Methodist Church.
The youth and adults served in the Houston area helping with construction and repairs still needed from Hurricane Harvey in 2017. They helped by adding trim and baseboards, painting cabinets and rooms, installing flooring and tile in showers and even some roofing.
The goal of Life Missions, according to Pastor Joe Munro, who started the program 11 years ago, is to build a community of brothers and sisters in Christ with the youth and adults throughout Sycamore and the surrounding areas.
“We want them to learn to become the hands and feet of Jesus Christ so they can share the good news to others,” Munro said in a news relase. "Aside from serving on the trip, we hope to encourage the same sense of serving God and others in our own communities, which Life Missions and SUMC displayed this past week by selling T-shirts to help the victims of the apartment fire and donating all proceeds, along with a contribution of $1,000 from Life Missions."
Stephen Thomas, a Sycamore High School junior, was a first-time participant.
“Before the trip, I had many doubts about my connection with God. I have wondered why things happen here and there and I couldn’t comprehend until this one week in Texas," he said in the release. "Seeing and hearing different stories and testimonies, I am slowly, but surely, trying to build on my belief and become a more hopeful and mature version of myself. This trip was truly amazing!”
SHS sophomore Lillyanna Celestino also was a first-time participant.
“I loved getting close to the homeowners in Texas," she said in the release. "I really bonded with my homeowner, Kendra. We talked so much, she even gave me her email and we are keeping in touch. Overall the trip was nothing I expected, but I loved the experience and am excited to see how Pennsylvania goes next year.”
Nick Orkfritz, a SHS graduate, has attended five trips.
“Life Missions, over the past five years, has given me a second family of people who never turned me away, and were always there for me," he said in the release. "I attribute part of who I am to Life Missions and wish to continue being involved with such a great program.”
The Life Missions members will share more of their experiences from the trip at services at 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, and 8:30 and 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, at Sycamore United Methodist Church, 160 Johnson Ave. in Sycamore.
The group also will have a service at 9 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, at Grace United Methodist Church, 506 Willow St. in Maple Park.