Students repair houses, share Christ
JEFFERSON CITY – George Roach is as big a fan of World Changers as he could be without them actually fixing up his house. He’s seen it change a community and he says more Missouri churches, large or small, should be involved.
Roach, now the ministerial services specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC), was instrumental in bringing World Changers to Moberly in 2004 when he served as director of missions for Mt. Pleasant, Mt. Zion and Monroe Associations.
“It’s a very simple and very great thing,” he said. “The students get hands-on mission experience, whether it’s putting on a roof, repairing siding, whatever that may be. They learn that ministry is giving, not receiving.”
“World Changers combines everything the 21st century church needs to be doing,” said John Davidson, the associational coordinator helping organize this year’s projects in Moberly. “It’s not just talking, it’s action just because Jesus loves us and He loves you.”
According to Davidson, it’s ministry first and the students understand the week isn’t about them.
“These kids want to be here,” he said. “They pay $270 to help cover the costs and come out here to work on a hot roof in this humid weather. This is not some youth camp where they are entertained.”
Roach added that it is ministry that allows churches to participate, no matter the size of their youth group.
Now that World Changers has been in Moberly for three consecutive summers, it’s made a big impact in the community and the way it sees the local congregations, a phenomenon Roach said occurs wherever the students go.
“It’s put a brand new look on who our churches are and what the association is about,” he said. “It says ‘We’re here to serve you’ while emphasizing what we’re really here to do, serve Jesus. In today’s climate with so many folks in non-profits wanting something in return, here is a group of kids coming to an area from as far way as Wyoming to spend a hot summer’s day on a roof. That has to have an impact on your community.”
“Everywhere I go people say ‘we can’t believe you’re here doing this,’” Davidson said. “Just last week I’ve had people stop me at Wal-Mart because of my World Changers shirt wanting to know how to give to the program and saying thank you.”
And that impact goes beyond improving someone’s quality of life. It brings the perfect chance to keep on sharing the Gospel.
“All year long, people would remember us,” Roach said. “That gave us the opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ.”
Churches can get involved two ways: they can apply for their community to be a work site where youth from across the country will converge or they can enroll their youth to help man a work site from Missouri to New York to Alaska. It all begins at www.studentz.com/wc or with a call to the North American Mission Board, 1-800-634-2462.
There are dozens of sites listed for 2008 on the World Changers website, including five Missouri cities: St. Louis, Trenton, Hannibal, Moberly and Bonne Terre.