SCOTT DEPOT — The youth group from St. John United Methodist Church in Scott Depot just wrapped up its 2019 mission week on Friday.

But there was no need to catch a plane, bus or train to head home afterward.

That's because the youth stayed close to home again this year, helping their own neighbors in need.

"We began doing our annual youth mission trip locally last year after having traveled out of state for years prior," said Pastor Kyle Smith, director of Youth Ministries at St. John. "The reason that we made the change was because we saw a need in our own community and felt that we could make a continued impact on where we live. Jesus told us to 'love our neighbors,' so we decided to take the term 'neighbors' in the most literal way possible. This year, with the help of Hurricane City Manager Ben Newhouse, we were able to identify two households that we could help."

The youth group built an 80-foot ramp for a woman who recently became wheelchair-bound and needed access to her porch, Smith said. At another home, they installed a French drain, painted a room, patched drywall holes, stained a deck, pressure washed the house, and repaired cabinets for an elderly woman.

"Something different that we did this year was volunteer at the Putnam County Animal Shelter, where we installed a French drain and spent some time with the animals," Smith said.

"We are going to continue to do local missions in the future with the hope of making an impact on the lives of our neighbors."

St. John UMC is located at 4536 Teays Valley Road, Scott Depot. Visit http://www.sjumcwv.org.

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