The Student Life Camp brings over 2,000 junior and senior high school students to Nacogdoches. They are sharing their Christian beliefs and good deeds.
About 200 campers are choosing mission work over recreational activities. Those young people are discovering helping others makes them feel good. Jill Lafara said, "I think just working for the Lord of God. It's just a wonderful experience."
And they're finding out a little sweat doesn't hurt anyone. Adult volunteer Mike Ratchford said he's giving two weeks out of his year for the kids and Christ. He said most of the youth come from affluent churches and really don't have much experience working hard. "They need to be shown good examples of what church is about and what Christ is about and that everything we're given is given from god and for us to give back is an important aspect for that."
The work is important to Curtis Troxell. His teenage brother needs a wheelchair ramp after an ATV accident caused him to lose a leg. "God was in on it. There was not other way it could have been done. They just come down here and said we're gonna build you a ramp and it ain't cost nothing and I'm glad for it," said Troxell while he watched the youth dig post holes.
And then there's 81 year old Mary Smith. She's legally blind and says it's good to see young ones again. "Usually I have refreshments for them. Maybe I'll find them a cookie or something," said Smith.
Mission workers have already received their payment. A camper said, "We're making other people feel good about their home and that it's ok that they need help."
Campers had a choice to play games or conduct mission work. Clearly performing good deeds is growing in popularity. The students took a vote. They voted in favor of mission work. They're encouraging leaders to replace recreational activities with activities that help others.