YI Students Develop Perseverance
Texas A&M Wesley Foundation students learned life lessons while helping give a neighboring church a facelift.
When leaders find a need, they lead. Texas A&M and Blinn College student leaders with the A&M Wesley Foundation have persevered — through rain delays and other obstacles in recent months – to finish a service project at Lee Chapel UMC, Bryan.
Students started refurbishing Lee Chapel UMC, a small African-American congregation last November, with the help of the Open Arms Sunday School class from A&M UMC. “As we worked to repair siding and paint the church,” recalls Ben Sinclair, Wesley Foundation program assistant. “It began to rain, so we had to leave it unfinished. Over the next few months, we planned two more workdays to finish up the work, both of which got rained out!” Summer school student leaders had better luck finishing the project in June.
“The most difficult part of the project was the 40-foot steeple, which needed some work. We had a few brave souls get up there and make it look much better,” says Ben.
Rachel Tindall, Texas A&M Class of 2020 really enjoyed getting to learn about construction work while helping fellow Methodists. She says, “I got to use scaffolding for the first time during this project, which was a bit scary but also rewarding. Projects like this are a good way to push my boundaries and find versatile ways to give and serve. “
Colby McCahah, Texas A&M Class of 2019 explained that his biggest challenges were getting up early and working in the sun all day. Emma Kate Batchelor, Texas A&M Class of 2020, shared that she loves doing mission work in her own backyard. “There are plenty of people who need help right in our community,” she says. “It was fun to bond with other students from Wesley as we worked and sweated together.” Jessica Watson, Texas A&M Class of 2020, adds, “Working for six hours in the Texas summer heat is always a challenge, but seeing improvements made the project well worth the hard work.”
Ben witnessed leadership development at work. “Groups of students would take on part of the building and take charge of getting it finished,” he says. “The A&M Wesley group has a lot of natural leaders. Our students are quick to respond to needs they see in our community. Most young people would not give up their Saturday to go paint a church, but our students looked forward to the opportunity to work. They see the many ways they have been blessed by God and they are eager to bless their neighbors in a tangible way.”