Butler County youth ‘change the world’

Published 6:11 pm Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thirty youth and adults from Butler County and surrounding area joined more than 257 youth and leaders on June 13-20 for a World Changers project in Chesapeake, Virginia.

The 2009 World Changers group consisted of youth and adults from Southside Baptist Church, First Baptist Church, and Goodway Baptist Church.

During the week, students spent their days roofing, painting, building wheelchair ramps, doing yard work and more in the Chesapeake community. In the evenings, they participated in worship, Bible study and team building activities. World Changers participants learn what being “On Mission” means throughout the week: Becoming personally involved in meeting the needs of others while sharing the love of Christ.

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After arriving at the project, participants were divided into work groups called crews.

Each crew, composed of 11-13 students and leaders from various churches, was assigned to work on the home of a community resident.

“I’ve just been so blessed. The Lord has given me the desires of my heart through these young people,” said Virginia Williams. The World Changers crew painted walls and put down new floors in Virginia’s home.

Participants said that meeting youth from other churches and learning how to serve as a team, along with getting to know the residents in community who they were helping, were some of the highlights of the week.

World Changers gives students an opportunity to gain hands on experience in missions and to give back some of what God has given to them.

The experience of servant-hood is life changing.

This summer, more than 24,000 students were registered to participate in over 100 World Changers projects around the globe. In Chesapeake, 28 homes were worked on by 21 different crews. These crews were from 14 churches from all areas of the United States.

However, the most important statistic of the week was there were four individuals who accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.

“This reason alone is why we pay to spend a week in the summer working to help communities. We go thinking that we are going to be a blessing to someone, but we always return home being blessed and uplifted by the precious residents we are able to help,” said Lisa Townes, Southside Baptist Church Youth Minister and World Changers coordinator.