UM Army rebuilding homes in Lufkin area

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A religious group is sharing a message of love with East Texans.

They call themselves the United Methodist Army and each summer they dedicate time to serving others in different communities.

"I'm so thankful for these nice people that's doing this," said Diane Luce.

Diane Luce says she's proud to see help finally arrive for her neighbor of 36 years.

The woman who lives in this house, Luce says, lost her husband and has overcome many other personal struggles.

"She's just done the best she could throughout the deal," Luce said.

Luce says hurricanes a few years back took out parts of her neighbor's roof, and since then she was never able to repair it.

"Well, it done damage when the hurricane come," Luce said.

Today, the United Methodist Army hopes to mend some of those damages.

"This crew right here is working on some overhangs and some porches to get them in safe condition for the client who lives here," said Becky Love, pastor at Diboll First United Methodist Church.

Each summer, Methodist church volunteers donate their time to fixing up homes and yards of those less fortunate.

This week, seven crews are hard at work on homes and yards in Lufkin and Diboll.

"We're called as Christians to serve our neighbor, to love our neighbor, and help those who need help," Love said. "And so, this is a way of teaching our young people that is what we're called to do."

"It provides support to the people who may not have resources," said John Stephenson, senior pastor at FUMC Pasadena.

For volunteers like 17-year-old Curtis Emery, volunteering is life-changing.

"I made a big difference when I came out," Emery said. "I noticed I had a lot more joy."

The six-member group will complete work on this house by week's end.

A dinner will be held Thursday night for all of the clients who are receiving help from the Methodist groups this week.

Clients will be given the opportunity to thank and mingle with the volunteers.

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