The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

March 11, 2014

College Heights students serve Joplin area during Missions Week

Though the children around her were bouncing off the walls Tuesday to release some of their pent-up energy after a long day at school, Abbi Hardy knew she was in the right place for her service project this week.

“It’s fun just because they have so much energy, and it makes me have energy as well,” said Hardy, a sophomore at College Heights Christian School. “They’re sweet kids.”

College Heights high school students are spread across four states and three countries for their annual Missions Week, in which they take a break from classes in order to serve others.

“Part of our mission statement is to produce servant-leaders with a biblical world view, so we hope this is a practical way to produce servant-leaders for the future,” said Sonya Wilkins, missions coordinator. “Teenagers are really focused on themselves, and ours are no different, and they need experiences like this to nudge them forward in their walk to progress themselves personally and spiritually.”

More than 70 students and their sponsors have stayed in Joplin to serve at organizations such as Rapha House, Crosslines Churches, Spring River Christian Village and the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home.

Other students have left the state, and even the country, for their service projects. They are in Jamaica; Mexico City; Beverly, Ky.; Kansas, Okla.; and Ozark, Ark., where they are working on projects such as vacation Bible school programs, home-repair assistance and drama/puppet ministries.

Two dozen students, including Hardy, will spend this week at the Neighborhood Life House, a nonprofit organization in north Joplin that offers a variety of after-school programming for children. They will teach Bible lessons, lead praise and worship sessions, do arts and crafts, and also cook supper for children who attend.

“They’re basically here to love on the kids and let them know somebody cares, and tell them about Jesus in the process,” Wilkins said.

Senior Makenzi Markham was monitoring the sound booth for the praise band early Tuesday afternoon before corralling a group of children for a Bible lesson. She said she has assisted at the Life House in previous years during Missions Week, and returning to serve again this year was a natural decision.

“There’s so much you get out of the week,” she said. “Most people think we’re serving them and they get something out of the week, but you get to partner with the kids and know their stories, and they bring you so much joy.”

Katie Hargrove, Life House director, said the College Heights students are not only leading the after-school program, but they also have helped with behind-the-scenes work at the organization, such as preparing materials for the program each day.

“It’s been a blessing because we have a lot of volunteers who help, but it’s hard to get enough volunteers on a consistent basis,” she said. “We love having them.”

Hardy said she has begun to pick up some of the lessons that Missions Week is designed to teach students.

“It’s almost better to learn how to work with people in different situations than learning skills in a classroom,” she said. “I see how much we can impact kids or other people in the community just by doing a simple task.”

Scope of project

MISSIONS WEEK at College Heights Christian School is primarily for high school students. Middle school students participate in a limited missions experience by spending one day this week serving local organizations or doing community service projects on a smaller scale, said Sonya Wilkins, missions coordinator.

Text Only
Local News
  • Pseudoephedrine sales in Pittsburg to require prescription

    Starting Friday, those who purchase pseudoephedrine and related products in Pittsburg will need a prescription to do so.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cherokee County Commission accepts general counsel's resignation

    Kevin Cure, who has served as general counsel for the Cherokee County Commission since 2005, submitted a handwritten resignation to the board on Monday in the aftermath of a landfill controversy.

    July 22, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Parents can get help with school supplies

    I don’t know much about demographics other than the fact that I no longer belong to a “targeted demographic.” When I was younger, I was bombarded by commercials and ads from companies that were trying to sell me things that I not only needed but wanted.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jasper County Commission reviews traffic plans

    The Jasper County Commission will hold public hearings today and Thursday on a number of traffic changes proposed in the county. No one spoke when the first hearing was held Tuesday as part of the regular commission meeting, according to Jim Honey, Eastern District associate commissioner.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin school board reviews audit procedures

    A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin man to stand trial in accident case

    A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.

    July 22, 2014

  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Neosho school board hires company to manage substitutes

    Citing its hopes of shifting health care costs and utilizing more time from retired teachers, the Neosho Board of Education granted a contract Monday to a temporary employee company to manage its substitute teacher program.

    July 22, 2014

  • Main Street TIF district study to begin

    A measure that allows the city to charge its $15,000 in administrative costs for studying a proposal to create a tax increment financing district on South Main Street was approved Monday by the Joplin City Council.

    July 21, 2014

  • Carthage man pleads guilty in sexual abuse case

    A Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a plea agreement that would cap the length of his prison term at no more than 15 years.

    July 21, 2014

Must Read


A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined. Do you think those kinds of measures should be taken?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter