Ferris Heights United Methodist Church of Waxahachie was the living center for 92 people as junior high students and adult chaperones took part in Mission Week. Three churches from the Dallas area sent out teams of young people to give them an opportunity to engage mission work. The group of 92 was broken down into 11 different teams that went out into the Waxahachie community in an effort to serve others.

Since their arrival on Sunday, July 14 Rev. Carol Roberts said her church has been home to adults and youth alike, sleeping in hallways and other parts of the building. She said for their church to have the opportunity to host an event like this is an honor.

“This is the first time our church has been the host of this summer mission program,” Roberts said. “We applied to be a living center for the Central Texas Conference Youth Mission Trip and were thrilled to have the approval.”

Roberts said this is great because it gives them a chance to build on the projects in the community that the teams have been a part of, and provides more community connections for the church.

Serving as the center director for the week is Michelle Freeman. Freeman also serves as a youth director for St. Barnabas United Methodist Church in Dallas. She said it has been a lot of fun to watch the children work so diligently this week, even in the rain.

“They have worked really hard since they've been here,” Freeman said. “On Monday, they were in the process of painting the outside of a house when the rain came.”

Freeman said the rain didn't stop the young people from staying focused on the project.

“We got out a few tarps and made canopies,” she said. “They would have continued to work without them.”

None of the students have complained or whined about any of the projects and the work they've had to put in. Freeman said that has been surprising, but refreshing.

“I haven't heard a single complaint from any of them,” she said. “Rain or shine, they continue to stay focus on the mission.”

Some of the projects the students have and will be involved in this week are installing four wheelchair ramps, replacing a porch, installing new flooring in a home and painting two houses.

Freeman said at the conclusion of this week, all of the mission teams from around the area will gather in Waco on Friday to worship and celebrate their week.

“We actually have eight to 10 living centers throughout this area,” she said. “There's a team in Ennis, Red Oak and other surrounding areas. On Friday, all of the teams will meet together at Austin Avenue United Methodist Church to celebrate this week's accomplishments.”

Freeman said she and her husband established three mission trips this summer, and this is the last one. Upon returning to their churches, she said the goal is for each student to take things they've done and apply them in their area.

Follow Melissa on Facebook.com/MelissaCadeWDL. Contact her at 469-517-1450 or melissa.cade@waxahachietx.com.