After two long years of preparing, planning and anticipating, Group Mission Trips has finally blessed Lincoln County with their
presence. This particular mission trip was named Troy Story, as youth and adults from all over traveled to Troy, and surrounding areas, to help with much needed renovations during their week-long mission trip.
Troy Story was organized by Group Mission Trips (aka Group), a faith based camp that first began their workcamps for communities in 1977. Also helping Group make it all possible were many of the local churches, Troy R-III School District and local volunteers. This nondenominational camp has grown leaps and bounds since their start in 1977 and is something that brings a community together, teaches the word of God all while the campers are acquiring new skills and bonds with friends and families they will never forget.
Participating in the Troy Story workcamp are 387 individuals from six different states and 14 different youth groups. They arrived on Sunday, July 21, to be greeted with open arms by the community. “This has been the best workcamp that I have experienced. The School here (Troy) has been amazing and the youth worked their tales off to be able to afford to come here and make a difference,” said Brenda Reinauer, Director for Troy Story Group Mission Trip. “The community has been great as well. All the welcome signs, church support and donations that poured in were astounding. Lincoln County has been a luxury with all the great amenities that have been offered and the support they gave us.”
Among the 47 workcamps that took place in Lincoln County, many residents received new decks, ramps, yard work, fresh paint and much more from the Troy Story workers. “It’s a Godsend,” Ella Berube commented as she watched her house get painted. “I hadn’t been able to get it painted. Just look at the difference a fresh coat of paint makes. It started off this color (blue) 25 years ago, and now it’s being restored.”
Crew 43, as they called themselves, painted Berbube’s house and were happy to do so. “It’s a very spiritually enhancing experience and we have been able to grow as a crew,” said Isaac Baas. “I’m proud of our team and all the work we have done this week. We all worked hard to complete this project,” explained Daniel Hurst. Luckily the heat wave broke mid-week so the workers had better weather to finish off their projects with. Even in the heat of the day each crew continued with their task at hand. Kirsten Laurin-Kovitz, Crew 43 team leader, said, “Their parents should be very proud of them.”
The youth and adults that joined Group to come to Troy Story raised the money for supplies, to travel, to pay for R-III staff (janitors and cafeteria workers), the housing costs at R-III School (consisting of electricity, water, food and AC), and any other expense that they might encounter. Anything raised by the youth was matched by Group to help with the rest of the costs.
During the week the campers started their day with breakfast, worship and headed out to the worksite. Upon their return to camp they checked in to record their progress and any extra help that was needed and were surprised with special treats left on their beds each afternoon. The first day on the mission trip, everyone had a t-shirt and a Frisbee with a note saying “Have a high flying time”. On the second night they each had a handmade pillow with the Troy Story logo stitched to it and a sharpie so they could have their fellow campers sign it. Other special gifts were lifesavers (being life savers for the community), clappers (give yourself a hand) and Extra gum (for their extra effort they have made).
The overwhelming support that Troy showed the youth and adults visiting has left a great impact on them. “All of the first year mission trip students are being spoiled this year. We have never been so welcomed and loved in a town like we have been here. The housing at the school (Troy High School) was great with all the facilities and it was so clean and everyone was very appreciative that the air conditioning was on,” said Reinauer.
As the Troy Story team wrapped up their week, many were treated to special BBQ’s, big THANK-YOU’S and exchanged contact information with the residents that they helped. A final gathering occurred on Friday night with a dinner and worship along with send-off ceremony.
For more pictures of worksites see www.lincolncountyjournal.com and view this week’s slideshow.
Troy Story by the numbers
Troy Story took place on such a large scale we thought the best way to show you might just be by looking at the numbers.
2 – The number of years local volunteers spent organizing and planning Troy Story.
6 – The number of youth per crew. Also the number of states represented by the youth and their adult leaders who came to Troy Story. States that were represented were Ill., Mich., Wis., Mo., Minn., and Iowa.
7 – The number of local churches involved in Troy Story. Churches involved were; First Christian Church, Moscow Mills United Methodist Church, New Galilee Christian Church, Old Alexandria United Methodist Church, St. Stephen United Methodist Church, Troy First Assembly of God, Troy First Baptist Church, Troy Holiness Church, and Epic Church.
10 – The number of members in the smallest group that came to Troy Story.
32 – The number of activities that were made available for the youth and their leaders to attend during a free evening on Wednesday.
47 – The number of worksites throughout the community that were under construction throughout the week thanks to the hard work of the volunteers at Troy Story.
65 – The number of crews working on the different sites throughout the community.
79 – The number of members in the largest group that came to Troy Story.
387 – The number of youth campers that attended Troy Story and stayed at Troy Buchanan High School throughout the week.
419 – The average cost in dollars for campers to attend Troy Story. The money helped pay for their expenses as well as the materials used on job sites.
500 – Number of hand sewn pillows given to campers and embroidered with the Troy Story logo. The pillows were sewn by Barb Jones and her daughter.
1400 – The number of cookies in dozens or 16,800 cookies. Also equal to 200 dozen or 2400 cookies per day, which equates to 6 cookies per youth per day. All cookies were handmade by volunteers in the community.