Hudson NETworks group spends spring break working in North CarolinaTwenty-one students and six adult leaders from NETworks Youth Ministries invested their spring break in service to families in Red Springs, N.C. The youth ministry is a partner with four local churches; Elliott Krizek is the director.
Twenty-one students and six adult leaders from NETworks Youth Ministries invested their spring break in service to families in Red Springs, N.C.
The youth ministry is a partner with four local churches — Mount Zion Lutheran, First Baptist, St. Paul’s Episcopal and First Presbyterian. Elliott Krizek is the director.
The group traveled to Red Springs Mission Camp in North Carolina to serve the residents of Robeson County, one of the poorest counties in the United States.
The mission camp, located in a 52,000-square-foot former textile plant, serves as a base for volunteers who renovate homes and build new ones for the residents of Robeson County. Many county residents are struggling to recover from tornado and hurricane damage that occurred last year.
The camp can house and feed more than 200 volunteers, and has a warehouse of materials and tools for building projects. It is operated by a North Carolina Baptist men’s organization.
The group left Hudson on the NETworks bus Friday evening, March 16, and arrived in Red Springs on Sunday afternoon, March 18. The long ride provided the opportunity for everyone to get to know each other better.
“We learned how different the culture is in the South than in the Midwest, particularly in terms of priorities and efficiency,” said adult leader Alivia French.
“In the Midwest, we are very focused on getting as much done as quickly as possible; whereas in Red Springs, our host and director told us to focus more on getting to know the different people in the area whom we’d be working with.”
French added, “It was a difficult adjustment for us, but we found that taking the time to slow down was refreshing, and getting to know people in the area was well worth it.”
The NETworks youth did yard work, painted the interiors of several homes and other buildings, installed electrical wiring, put up sheetrock walls, built a deck and prepared materials and supplies that the Baptists on Mission uses when it responds to disasters.
Adult leader Ken Wooley, a retired 3M Co. technical manager and former electrician, re-wired a house with the help of NETwork members Christi Gratz and Floyd Johnson.
“Both of them really enjoyed it,” Wooley said of his young helpers. “They did a good deal of the work. I just went through and verified they had done it correctly.”
French said: “Our purpose was to provide aid to people whose homes had been damaged or destroyed in tornadoes that occurred 10 months ago. We really saw how God was using us to answer this community’s prayers, as well as how these people could change our hearts.”
She said each individual who went on the trip could tell you a different story about how they were impacted.
“This was a wonderful opportunity for us to get away from our normal lives and to focus on serving others for a week, as well as developing closer relationships among people in our own community by spending a week with them,” French said.
“This was a very special trip, and I’m so glad to have had this opportunity.”