There was no tanning on a southern beach or sleeping in during spring break for 37 teens from Rochester (N.Y.) Christian Reformed Church.
The teens joined more than 400 other youths at the interdenominational Flower City Work Camp, where their mission was to repair homes and teach the gospel in Rochester’s inner city.
This year the group replaced roofs, restored utilities, rebuilt walls, painted rooms, and more, working in a total of 45 homes. Each site had a “student shepherd” who led daily devotions with the family that lives in the house. In the evening the youths gathered for worship and then slept dormitory-style in churches close to the work areas.
For Carly Dettman, a ninth-grader from the Rochester youth group, this experience was eye-opening. She says, “I never realized that the poor were so close, even though I read about it or saw local poverty on TV. It took experiencing Flower City Work Camp to make it real. Now I want to do whatever I can to help.”