Taking the mission to ‘our own backyard’

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 23, 2010

They call it Mission Andalusia, and its goal is to spread the love of Jesus to other children “in their own backyard.”

A group of First Baptist Church youth have hit the streets of Andalusia ministering to children and helping out with community service this week.

“We wanted to do something in our own backyard,” Sandra Dendy, one of the parents who are supervising the youth, said. “Last year we took a mission trip to Branson, Mo. While we were there, we decided that this year we wanted to stay at home and make a difference.”

So this week, a group of about 40 youth and 15 adults have been taking the “Word” to the streets.

“We’ve been to Pineview and Westhaven, for a backyard Bible club,” Dendy said. “We did this in the mornings and incorporated a lesson, craft, music and snack.”

Dendy said it was kind of like a mini-vacation Bible school.

“We had an overwhelming turnout,” she said. “We’ve had about 30 kids a day at one location and 20 kids at the other.”

After lunch, the youth have been working on service projects throughout the community, which included painting, landscaping and other odds and ends at Andalusia Middle School, cleaning at Andalusia Elementary School, sorting and rearranging at the Christian Service Center and painting the sixth grade classroom at FBC.

“Our goal was to show Jesus’ love to children who may not know Jesus or have the opportunity to go to vacation Bible school,” she said. “Our children witnessed to the other children.”

Dendy said the children they were able to witness to have had great attitudes and were hungry to hear what they had to say.

“We have such a great opportunity to continue the relationships we’ve started with these children,” she said.

The mission project will wrap up today.

Will Parker, a member of FBC youth, helps put pine straw out at Andalusia Elementary School. | Kendra Bolling/ Star-News