Youths on church mission help mid-Missouri residents fix up homes

Youth volunteers work on a house in Molino as part of a mission project in mid-Missouri.

Youth volunteers work on a house in Molino as part of a mission project in mid-Missouri.

MEXICO — Over 200 high school church members are working on fixing up homes across mid-Missouri. The volunteers range in age from 14 to 18 years old and come from all over the country.

The group is currently working on 23 homes, building handicap ramps and painting houses. They are sleeping at Mexico High School while they are in the area.

The mission group arrived in Mexico on Sunday and will be working around mid-Missouri until Friday. The mission is through Group Workcamps, which is a company out of Colorado that has hosted mission trips for over 30 years.

One group of mission members from Chicago worked on building a handicap ramp on a home in Mexico. These members teamed up with other volunteers from Rush Hill Church. 

Juliana Innocenpini said this mission trip is giving her tools and lessons she'll use for the rest of her life.

"This did change my mind and now I feel like this is what I should be doing," Innocenpini said. "This is what I should be focusing on more, helping other people and helping the community and just help myself grow as a better person."

Justin Hagedorn, one of the organizers from Rush Hill Church,  said it is very rewarding helping out the mid-Missouri community where he grew up. 

"You get a chance to see and help people that can't do it for whatever reason haven't been able to do it and share a little bit of God's love," Hagedorn said. 

The mission trip was originally planned for summer 2020, but because of the pandemic the trip was pushed back to this summer.

All the repairs done to the homes are free of cost to the resident. The mission is funded by donations and grants from different churches and businesses.