SHEFFIELD, Illinois — A group of around 200 teenagers is hard at work this week to repair 34 homes in Bureau County.
The teenagers are visiting the QCA from different churches around the country on mission trips for "Home Repair Workcamp." They're helping fix up homes for those who either aren't able to afford it or do it themselves.
"You can call it different congregations all that, but it's all for the purpose of one thing and that's serving God," said workcamp co-chair Rod Benavidez. "Whether they start out new or old or have done this before, there is a purpose for each and every one of those kids."
One group has been painting a house in Sheffield, Illinois. Among those in the group is Braedon Feehan who's on his sixth mission trip. He's from Osceola, Iowa. He's been to the Quad Cities once before in East Moline and has also gone on mission trips to Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee.
"I make room in my schedule (for it each year)," Feehan said. "It's definitely the faces I see on the residents that we're fixing the house for and meeting all the new people and strengthening my religion."
Kyra McCance from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma is also taking part in the work camp. She said she wasn't sure if she wanted to come originally, but now she's glad she did.
"My favorite part is seeing how my faith is growing and Jackie and everyone here and watching how the house is coming along," she said.
Jackie Pilcher is the owner of the home they're helping paint. She's been wanting to repaint it for years but isn't able to do it herself at her age.
"It's an old house, and it requires a lot of tending and stuff," Pilcher said. "So when it came time to do the exterior of the house, I wasn't able to do it."
But when she first applied to be on the work camp's list of home repairs, she wasn't chosen. Just a few days before the teens were supposed to start work on Monday, June 27, she got a call that someone had dropped out and she was next on the list.
"I'm so grateful. I always trusted that God will make a way where there isn't a way," she said. "I'm learning so much about each and every one of them, and praying for their lives as they go forward... They come in and they eat in the dinning room. We cram all these chairs and everything in there. And it's just really a lovely group of people just celebrating the Lord and each other together."