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MARY MEAUX — United Methodist Temple taking mission work to 20 local projects

The folks at United Methodist Temple know that faith without works is dead.

With that in mind, upwards of 100 church members are busy showing God’s love in a practical way through a series of community projects.

Pastor Phil Chamberlin said the projects came as a result of COVID because the church wasn’t able to take part in their usual mission trips over the summer in 2020. This caused church leaders to look locally to see what could be done since the mission trips were not a possibility.

“We started looking around our own area, and our youth was really involved in missions in the summer. We thought why don’t we combine this and have a family mission week so we can all work together,” Chamberlin said.

The intergenerational experience is something for everyone and a way to learn how to show God’s love in a practical way, he said.

With the near 100 volunteers, there are approximately 20 projects across Port Arthur, Port Neches, Nederland and Groves. Everything from yard work to wheelchair ramps will be tackled.

Volunteers paint at a home in the area. (Courtesy photo)

Some community members receiving help have had items in their yards since Hurricane Harvey or from one of the tropical storms that need to be disposed of but without the resources or manpower, it is difficult.

“It was really the brainchild of Emily Letulle, the youth pastor,” Chamberlin said. “She usually heads up all of the mission work. She’s an amazing organizer and motivator of people.”

Chamberlain said there are many ways the church members are helping; from cooking meals and feeding workers to delivering water to job sites. There are even a few engineers who sat down and designed the wheelchair ramps so they are safety compliant.

One lady, he said, stayed up until 3 in the morning designing the ramps.

“We just want to show God’s love in a practical way and show people they matter to God,” he said.

Some residents have been unable to leave their homes since COVID and some who had mobility challenges worsen because they were not able to continue getting out of their homes. Some who were able to walk after COVID sometimes found themselves using walkers and wheelchairs, though that’s not true for everyone.

The volunteer work began this week, the pastor said.

Mary Meaux is a news reporter with Port Arthur Newsmedia. She can be reached at mary.meaux@panews.com.