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Youth on a Mission for Jesus Christ

Special Photo
Members of Youth on Mission volunteered in various areas in Hampton Saturday. They cleared and mowed the lawn of the Historic Wilson House, as well as worked across the street, painting picnic tables and benches at McBrayer Park in downtown Hampton.

Special Photo Members of Youth on Mission volunteered in various areas in Hampton Saturday. They cleared and mowed the lawn of the Historic Wilson House, as well as worked across the street, painting picnic tables and benches at McBrayer Park in downtown Hampton.

A group of young people recently volunteered their time and energy, to help make downtown Hampton more beautiful.

Youth on Mission is a group of teens, ages 14 to 18, of Mision Hispana de Hampton, which is a part of First Baptist Church of Hampton. The young people are students at Hampton and Luella middle schools, and Luella, Lovejoy and Charles Drew high schools.

Youth on Mission recently cleaned yards, mowed lawns, painted, and helped clear debris from a site in Hampton that had been affected a tornado.

"We try to give back, in order to impact the community showing God's love," said Jessie Lin-Diaz, a senior at Georgia State University. "You know how the Bible says that faith without works is dead, so we tried to go out and help in the community in different ways."

More than 10 young people joined Lin-Diaz Saturday, in painting picnic tables and benches in McBrayer Park in Hampton, while others cleaned and mowed the lawn across the street, on West Main and Oak Street, at the Historic Wilson House.

Members of Youth on Mission started last year at First Baptist of Hampton, said Hilda Loyola, coordinator of Youth on Mission for Mision Hispana de Hampton. "We volunteered, because we wanted to show Jesus' love," said Loyola. "I want our volunteers to know that there are people in our community that need our love."

Loyola said the teens seemed to enjoy doing the volunteer work. "Before we start each mission, we read a scripture from the Bible and pray," said Loyola. "Some missionaries leave the country to do their work. I am showing them that they don't have to do that, they can do their work here within their reach."

This is the first time the group volunteered in Hampton. In October, the teens participated in the Atlanta Susan G. Komen breast cancer walk, and raised $250 to help find a cure for cancer. In February, they participated in the Susan G. Komen breast cancer walk in Peachtree City, and raised the same amount.

In July, the group is scheduled to paint a single mother's Hampton home. The woman's mother recently died of cancer, according to Lin-Diaz.

"It's great that they would volunteer," said Marlyn Gonzalez, director of Woman's Missionary Union, the umbrella organization for the Youth in Mission group. "They are fulfilling the purpose of the organization being involved in the community, to show the love of Christ ..."

Loyola said she contacted Hampton Main Street Director Candy Franklin, and she put her in contact with Carol Floyd, with the Council on Aging for the Hampton District, which has helped the group organize projects needed in the community.

"I think its fantastic, because even though we have young people destroying the tables in the park, carving their names in them," said Franklin, "we have young volunteers willing to make McBrayer Park look good."

For more information on volunteering in Hampton, contact Carol Floyd with the Council on Aging for the Hampton District. Or, if you a senior citizen in need of help, call (678) 860-6996.