A group of 22 people from the Immanuel United Church of Christ in Darlington recently returned from a mission trip to the Back Bay Mission in Biloxi, Miss. They left on Sunday, July 28 and returned on Saturday, August 3.
This is the fifth time that the local church has participated in the trip. They go every other year to Back Bay Mission in Biloxi. The area was hit pretty hard and basically wiped out by Hurricane Katrina.
During the week that the group is there they are assigned different tasks to help the area. The group has fundraisers throughout the year to cover the cost of the mission trip.
This year the group painted two houses and tiled floors in a third house as well as working on the trim board and doors on the interior during the week they were there.
Some people from the group also volunteered at the soup kitchen, food pantry and the Micah Center, a center for homeless people at Back Bay Mission.
This year the local Wisconsinites were joined by other groups at the same time, which has never happened before. A family from Illinois and a group of people from Atlanta, Ga. joined the group from Darlington and worked with them and stayed with them, all as one big group.
Joan Blaser, one of the organizers of the trip, said that typically they would work about eight hours, usually from about 8 a.m. until 3 or 4 p.m., depending on what they were doing that day.
“They look forward to us coming,” said Blaser. “They said we get more done in two days than most other groups do in a week.”
But the trip wasn’t all work and no fun for the group from Darlington. They also sang at a church one evening and did a city tour of Biloxi as well as an alligator tour. “We play hard and work hard too,” said Blaser.