HARLETON — A group of Harleton community churches and youth groups teamed up for the third time this summer to help out those in need, right in their own backyards.

“Agape 2019” saw several Harleton area churches and about 34 of their youth in grades ranging from sixth to 12th spend this week helping out their neighbors.

“This is our third year to have the youth spend the week working on projects around our community,” Harleton Area Ministerial Fellowship President Sandy Hoover said.

Hoover serves as pastor at Athey Baptist Church in Harleton, one of the churches involved in the summer mission work.

“We had different crews that worked on different projects in the community throughout the week,” Hoover said. “We had a lawn mowing crew, a crew that reseals trailer house roofs, two clean up crews for trees from the recent storms and, for the first time this year, we had a nursing home crew. They went to several different nursing homes and played games with the residents.”

There were even crews of youth to make snow cone and popsicle runs for those other youth crews working in the summer heat.

“We had several other area churches make food for the youth each day,” Hoover said.

The youth crews started their week on Monday with training and spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday hard at work before celebrating with a trip to Lake O’ the Pines on Friday.

Mulberry Springs Baptist Church in Hallsville Youth Pastor Aaron Burwell said when it comes to youth summer mission trips, churches don’t always need to look around the world.

“There are needs right here in our own community and we are trying to meet not only the physical needs but the spiritual needs of those right here,” Burwell said. “This is our third year of local churches and youth groups working together in the name of Jesus Christ, in love and in deed.

“This is kingdom work and we hope to get other community churches together doing the same thing in the future.”