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Local youth group makes Park Hills its mission

The Esther Baptist Church Youth Group poses for a picture.

Jeannie Barton-Northrup,

The Esther Baptist Church youth group has chosen to keep its mission work local by keeping church, community, and city in mind.

For three days — this Thursday through Saturday — the church youth will partner with adult volunteers to improve five area homes and clean up several Park Hills streets.

Chris Warden, the youth pastor, said the 15-member youth group generally goes out-of-state for mission trips, but the group saw the community’s needs in their own backyard and decided to stay local this year.

After some research, Warden and his youth group decided to model their project after a similar program in Viburnum and call it “Bless this Town – Park Hills.”

“We want to do things for people they can’t do for themselves, just like Jesus does for us,” said Warden.

The purpose of the program is to help Park Hills residents with exterior home improvement projects that people are unable to complete themselves due to lack of money, because of disability, or just having no other means of getting the work done. Applications from members of the church and community are accepted, then reviewed and selected based on specific criteria.

According to Warden, there were a lot more applications than anticipated. This year the group was only able to select five homes to improve. Selectees were notified earlier this month for thorough inspections and notifications of work dates.

This year, work consists of minor repair work on roofing, decking, siding, painting, and yard work. Adult volunteers from the church are partnering with the youth to complete the projects during the three work days. Warden says it is very rewarding to see the knowledge and skills of the adults being passed on to the youth.

The youth group wanted to do more for their community, so Warden worked with Park Hills Mayor Stacey Easter to select streets in the city that needed to be cleaned up.

“The city is very fortunate to have volunteers helping clean up areas in need. It’s extra rewarding when our youth get involved. We are so thankful for them!” said Easter.

To complete all the projects in three days, the volunteers will be divided into groups. Each group will be assigned a specific project, and if they finish early, they can help another group.

“It’s not about getting people to come to our church,” said Warden. “It’s about showing up to bless people.”

Warden and his youth group plan to make the program an annual event and gain partnerships with businesses, churches, and other community members to take on larger projects and help meet more needs.

Further information about this project can be found on the Esther Baptist Church Facebook page

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