NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - It's a bittersweet day for members of Fredonia Hill Baptist Church youth ministry and their new friends.
It's time to bring a week long camp which reaches out to disadvantaged youngsters to a close. Saying goodbye to this kind of fun is difficult.
"It's very true, yeah, we love to be out here though and we come out every once in a while throughout the year," said teenager Savannah Binford.
Preparation for the week of fun began early. Youth leaders and selected members attended a conference in Memphis, Tennessee where they learned how to go door to door and personally invite guests to the camp.
"When you're walking these streets with a group and knocking on doors and talking to their parents saying if we can bring their kids to here you realize like not everybody has what you have," said camper Kaylee Johnson.
Before the campers arrive the youth work hard to fix up Pioneer Park.
"We come out and paint the park, the pavilions and tables, just because we don't want graffiti where the kids are going to be playing," said youth pastor Josh Sanford.
Enthusiasm is contagious.
A block party brought out entire families.
"We had 170 people here. Fed them hot dogs and had worship out here and played games and presented the gospel," said Sanford.
No doubt this mission work has a purpose that benefits the campers and the leaders.
"This is really strengthening me on my walk and letting me see how much other people need love too," said Binford, "Church is not a building. It's a body of believers and this is somewhere where they understand sacrifice in self."
Sanford says the week in the park is gratefully putting faith into action.
The Fredonia Hill Baptist youth group stays busy in other ways too.
Each day, following the park activities, the youth do mission work around the community from painting houses to visiting nursing homes.