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Church youth groups on mission to help community in Dexter

Homes in Dexter are being repaired thanks to some youth groups from around the country.
Homes in Dexter are being repaired thanks to some youth groups from around the country.(wabi)
Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 6:15 PM EDT
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DEXTER, Maine (WABI) - Church youth groups from around the country are in Dexter this week helping community members with home projects.

We visited one of the work sites of the Group Mission Trips organization. Samantha Spaeth is from the Indiana-based Main Street Christian Church youth group, she’s been doing mission work with Group Mission Trips for years.

”We’ve been to New York, we’ve been to Rhode Island, and we were supposed to go to Minnesota last year.”

The dedicated group of young adults are learning new skills along the way.

“It’s teamwork, so we’re working together to get ‘r done.” says Sami Smith, another youth group member.

They call themselves God’s Get-R-Done girls, and decorated their travel van with the name. Spaeth jokes that they also have a “plus one.”

“So now we’re in Maine and we brought all these glorious girls with us, and Zach.”

Zach is their youth group leader.

“It’s been going pretty good.” says Smith. “This is our first workday, so we’re just kind of getting the groove of everything.”

They’re one of 11 crews from five states spending the week at Ridge View Community School while doing mission work with Group Mission Trips. Jeff Bettinger, also known as “J-Dawg” is the camp director for Group Mission Trips.

“It’s a nonprofit that sponsors mission trips all over the United States. This is to provide a foundation for youth leaders in their local church to work on something over the course of a year.”

Andrew Bermudez is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Dexter and is the local co-sponsor for the trip.

“Whether it’s repainting the exterior of their home, rebuilding a front porch, structural improvement, weatherization stuff.”

The projects mean a lot to community members, and the youth groups benefit, too.

“You make a lot of friends, and you meet a lot of new people, and you get to explore the area.” says Spaeth.

Bermudez is grateful for the groups efforts.

“They pay their own way to be here, none of this costs any residents anything.”

But Bettinger says the work has it’s own rewards.

“We feel we get more than we give when we come out here.”

Bermudez says there are still more community members in need of help they won’t get to this year.

“I’m really hoping this program continues on for many years to come so we can help as many people as we can in this community.”

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