Disciples News Service

High hopes realized for Taking the High Road

group photo

Organizers of the Disciples Summer Mission 2012 doubled the number of youth and adults involved compared to 2011.

“We had not really considered what could happen if the number of participants from the previous year would double. In all, 142 youth and adults from 13 Disciples of Christ congregations from Texas and Iowa converged upon the area and pulled off a fantastic week of service, fellowship, and community building in northwest Arkansas and southwest Missouri,” said Brent Parker, First Christian, Longview, Texas.

Parker, along with Regina Erwin (FCC Odessa), Fester Coffee-Prose (FCC Tyler), and Cory Glover (FCC Midland), led the effort.

As anyone who has participated in mission, it is the people that stick in the memory. A wonderful couple who lost their home in the Joplin tornado came to share their story with the group. Another Joplin resident shared stories of angels who showed up in the days immediately following the storm. A couple families whose playground had been repaired showed gratitude by providing popsicles and cold drinks. Removing brush from a yard brought a smile and a tear to an older woman who appreciated the help with chores her aging husband could no longer handle.

Beginning Monday and continuing three days, a Habitat house was painted, a homeless shelter interior was repainted and its playground rebuilt and painted, three senior families saw their yards return to pristine condition, working poor were served meals, a 5K was setup and broken down (and $2840 was raised for FCC Rogers outreach projects), a food bank and resale shop were stocked and cleaned, and a recycling center was organized. In Joplin, dozens of newly planted trees were watered and restored to health, housing plots were cleared of rubble, residents were assisted in moving belongings and unwanted yard waste, and fill material was added to a home’s foundation so that a new home could be built on its previous slab.

Between and after the hours of work in the hot sun, our missionaries enjoyed the coolness of a local lake, an afternoon of free time at the local entertainment complex, and an evening minor league baseball game and fireworks display.

Pictures of our week will be found on our group Facebook event page. We invite you to go there and take in the visual account of our trip as participants upload their photos. You can also check out the twitter feed at #disciplesummermission2012 to see how the event unfolded through the eyes of participants and members of the leadership team.