BOUNCE Student Disaster Recovery drew youth from Mobberly Baptist Church Longview, Texas, who gave their spring break for community rehabilitation projects in the Beaumont/Port Arthur area.
“Missions equal spiritual maturing,” noted Will Hagel, junior high minister at Mobberly Baptist. “There are aspects of missions that are not a part of other parts of church for students. Sundays, Wednesday nights, camp — those are pouring into the kids. Missions are a chance for students to pour out and stretch themselves. It’s a form of worship.”
Working on homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey nearly six years ago, the students worked on a variety of projects including relaying flooring, tearing off rotted siding and insulation, installing new siding and painting.
BOUNCE director David Scott said the projects had a profound impact on homeowners as the anniversary of the hurricane approaches.
“To live in a state of devastation for that length of time, there can be hopelessness,” Scott said. “But there is encouragement through this process. The work BOUNCE students do blesses people who have been through a very difficult time. To get them in situations where they are not in substandard housing and provide a sense of normalcy, God uses that to encourage them.”
Students learn to be a reflection of Christ’s love as they rehabilitate homes, he said.
“We talk to our students about representing Jesus everywhere they go,” Hagel added. “To be intentional about the work they’re doing and to consider the people living in these homes as they work … . We want them to look at people and have a Christ-like heart for others.”
After construction projects and sharing Christ during the day, the students were hosted by First Baptist Church Nederland and “recharged” with worship in the evening.
“Students work hard,” Hagel said. “It’s a great experience to see them pour all day and then fill back up through worship each night.”
Embracing a ‘missional life’
For Scott, BOUNCE is more than just the transformation of homes.
“It’s so important for youth ministries and churches to have a missional element in what they do with students,” he emphasized. “Missions can be a transformational experience for students; an opportunity for them to grow in their faith, to embrace service and to give them a sense of a missional life.”
For information about future BOUNCE Student Disaster Recovery missions visit txb.org/bounce.