U.M. ARMY church missionary group lend helping hand in Lufkin

U.M. ARMY church missionary group lend a helping hand in Lufkin
Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 10:29 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 19, 2022 at 10:54 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - By Brian Jordan

The Blue I Group is just one of the many groups that have made Lufkin their temporary home as part of the U.M. ARMY (United Methodist Action Reach-out Mission by Youth) mission group this week.

90 young people are staying at the First United Methodist Church while helping people like Lufkin resident Michael Vitiligo, who’s wheelchair bound and is in need of a wheelchair ramp into his home.

“We’re here with our church, which is a mission program,” Braden Baker said. “We go out and build wheelchair ramps and steps for those who can’t do it for themselves.”

Many of the U.M. ARMY have never used some of the equipment it takes to build the things they’re working on. That’s where the adult leader comes in, to have a watchful eye and give guidance to all the youths to make sure everything goes smoothly and safely.

“We’re here to kinda just be a guide,” Victor Lawson, adult leader of Blue Group I said. “We get them started learning things they’ve never done. A lot of them have never marked measured cut used a screw gun or a chop saw. We go over safety, then once they get the hang of it, I’m watching them and they’re doing the work,” said leader Victor Lawson.

None of this would be possible without the camp director, Shahab Parva, getting everything coordinated for taking care of 90 campers. He says all the campers are here to do good for the community, and while it is faith based, they see youths and adults from all denominations to lend a helping hand.

“We have campers here that are focused on doing service,” Parva said. “Some that are focused on the worship, but regardless it’s a great mission that the Lord is involved in.”

Many of the campers, like Megan Keller, take pride in giving back to the community.

“It gives me an opportunity to do service out in the community and reach out to those that are less fortunate,” Keller said.

But for the homeowners, the kids are doing more than just building a ramp.

“God is a miracle worker in so many ways,” Vitiligo said. “To me and my girlfriend and my family, this is a miracle.”

For more information or if you want to get involved, visit the group’s website.

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