Jefferson UMC youth spend vacation helping locals

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 1, 2017

By Christian Coffman

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — A group of local youth spent a week of their summer vacation helping people in need during the annual Jefferson Street United Methodist summer mission week.

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Summer youth director Trey Hand said this year the group helped a man on Madison Street whose bathroom needed serious repair.

“We got a call from a guy who lives on Madison Street, that his bathroom floor was falling in,” Hand said.

Hand said work on the bathroom ranged from fixing floors and pipes to replacing the toilet, and the mission was completed in four days.

Many of the students from the summer youth group got involved, he said.

“We try to have the youth do the work because people are always saying that teenagers don’t work,” Hand said. “This mission week we also helped the Natchez Stewpot by gathering non-perishable goods.”

On the last day of the mission week, the church hosted a barbecue sale. Hand said the church sold approximately 600 chicken dinners.

Hand, who has been working as a youth director since late May, said the experience teaching an average of 15 to 20 students a night has been personally rewarding.

“The kids are great, and the parents are so helpful,” Hand said. “I teach all the lessons, and listening to what the kids have to say is amazing.”

After the mission week, the youth group continues to meet three nights a week during the summer on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays.

Sunday nights the group meets, eats dinner, play games, and are currently reading a book called “Controversial Questions.” The students then debate some of the tough questions in the book.

Monday nights are recreation nights and Wednesday nights include a weekly Bible study.

Hand said youth get a sense of family out of the summer group.

“It was important for me in high school. It was a family atmosphere,” Hand said. “It’s a nice place to go outside the judgmental atmosphere of school.”

Students in seventh grade through 12th grade can join by contacting 601-597-7787 or showing up at the Jefferson Street Methodist Church from 6 to 8:30 p.m. during one of the three nights.