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Serving the Lord through mission work….

Since 2002, the Christian Church of Villa Park has been sending mission teams out for one week each year to serve as Christ’s hands and feet in areas were help is needed. For the past 5 years, we have joined together with First Christian Church of Paris, Illinois to serve God on our annual mission trip.
59 different people have served on one or more of the mission teams from 2002 to 2014.
Thank you to all of the members of the church and the Paris church who have provided financial and prayer support for our mission work.

MISSION TRIP 2014 . Our 2014 mission trip took us to Washington, IL. In November 2013, a tornado hit Washington and the surrounding area and destroyed over 1,000 homes. We looked forward to helping people in our own state this time. The Team worked through Bethany Community Church in Washington, IL which was acting as the sole coordinator for volunteers coming to the area to help with recovery efforts. Our housing was provided by Eureka College which is a college associated with our denomination.

This year’s mission trip wasn’t what we expected. We have been doing disaster relief mission trips since 2006 when we went to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. We have worked on building new homes to replace ones that were destroyed and worked on repairing homes that were damaged. What we learned upon arrival was that, for the most part, the homes that were destroyed were covered by insurance, and therefore, homeowners were having professional contractors rebuild or repair their homes. This was a more affluent area than other areas that we have gone. We were told that we would cleaning up debris and doing yard work since the city was cracking down on homeowners who had not been weeding and mowing their property (property on which either only a foundation remained or if the foundation had already been removed because it was cracked, a big hole stood where the house once was). These things are not covered by insurance and this work was difficult for some homeowners to get to done based on the fact that they were temporarily living some distance away or based on their circumstances. We were also told that part of our job during the week was to listen to homeowners who needed to tell their stories. So we adjusted our expectations and did the work and listened to the people of Washington. We left at the end of the week feeling privileged to be able to come to the area and show Christ’s love to the people of Washington through our week of service.
Here is where else we have served:

2013 to Henryville, IN. We worked with March2Recovery to help with recovery efforts after tornados hit the area on March 2, 2012. Our entire team worked together all week on rebuilding and remodeling a donated trailer home for the Ripley family to replace their damaged home. We installed siding and soffit on the outside and replaced drywall, installed baseboard and window trim, and painted on the inside.


2012 to Birmingham, AL . This was our first time working with Habitat for Humanity. We worked on a new house for a man who had lost his home and his beloved wife in a tornado. We installed windows, insulation, siding, and soffit.

2011 to Nashville – We worked with the North Nashville Flood Relief Group, an organization with few resources trying to help a lot of people whose homes were flooded in Nashville in 2010. We worked on repairs to 3 different homes.

2010 to Northwest Indiana – We worked with Lakeshore Area Regional Recovery of Indiana (LARRI). LARRI was established specifically to assist homeowners in Northwest Indiana in recovering from floods that occurred in the area in the summer of 2008. Working with LARRI was a great experience – we had great living accommodations, they had plenty of work lined up for us, there were work supervisors for each work site that had construction knowledge and provided direction, and plenty of work materials were available. Together we completed repairs on 4 existing homes, painted a community center, and dry walled a new home being built to replace one lost in the flood.
Not sure what it would be like to go on a Mission Trip? See some of the comments below from members of Mission Team 2009….
“All the families were very grateful to our team for the help. It gave me a great sense of satisfaction to be able to participate in this work and I feel blessed that the Lord used me for His purpose.” Minni

“It is amazing to look back, not just this year but at all our mission trips, to see how many ways God uses us.” John

“After 3 mission trips I realized that after a while it’s not so much about the work (even though it is a vital element of our mission work) but more about the people and the relationships built albeit in one week.” Kailash

“Once again, I believe God called us to be where we were, when we were.” Betty
2009 to Waterloo, Iowa – Our work was through a mission station established by the United Church of Christ following floods and a devastating tornado that hit the area in 2008. Two work crews worked at various sites throughout the county during the week to make needed repairs caused by flooding and tornado damage.

2008 to Chauvin, Louisiana – Working with Bayou Grace located in the bayous southwest of New Orleans, we help to rebuild the entire back half of home owned 89 year-old Mr. Isaac and his wife, Miss Carrie, who was also elderly and wheel chair bound.

2007 to Chauvin, Louisiana - Working with Bayou Grace, we did repair work on 4 different homes that had been damaged by floods brought on by Hurricane Rita.
2006 to Metairie, Louisiana - One year after Hurricane Katrina, we were assigned to the Disciples Mission Station in Metairie, just outside of New Orleans, and spent a week cleaning out a duplex of 3 feet of mud and ruined family possessions (wearing white suits and respirators) to prepare the home for mold remediation and eventual repairs.
2005 to Cosby, Tennessee - Working with Disciples Home Mission’s F.A.S.T. program, we did repair work on several homes in this impoverished area. The F.A.S.T. program includes some orientation to the culture of the area and what has caused the cycle of poverty.

2004 to Duluth, Minnesota - We spent a week amidst the poor and homeless of Duluth, doing work for a number of social service agencies.

2003 to Buffalo, New York - We put on a week-long vacation Bible School at a summer day camp in the inner city of Buffalo.

2002 to Harlan, Kentucky - We worked on building of a new home for a grandmother named Barbara who had never been able to own her own home.