Weiner, Arkansas... population 655. You may not think a town this size would be a place where teenagers get into trouble, but these days you can never be too careful. That's why 15 years ago, several churches in the area got together to help the youth make a positive impact on the community.
The result... The life group. Director Susan Johnson says "I think its been an answered prayer to a lot of people here in town. Seeing a positive influence from these teenagers. You hear so many stories about how bad teenagers are... they're into trouble, ther're into drugs, they're into everything, and these kids are wonderful, and I think that it has just really perked up everyone in the community, or we hope it has."
These teens are busy every day. On Monday's they bake cookies and deliver them to the sick and elderly, or just anyone who has influenced their lives. On Tuesday's and Thursday's they meet at the county library to tutor the elementary students. Suasan says it doesn't end there. "Then on Friday afternoon we pick up around town. We pick up limbs, which we've had plenty since the ice storm this winter. We rake leaves, we do whatever we see needs to be done around town.
Life Group member Taysia Covington says they help any one in need. "There was one man who had been in the hospital and was trying to lift all the limbs the recent storm had put in his yard, so we got out and helped him, he really appreciated that.
Lance Johnson says he knows his group is appreciated. "I can tell that we're doing good, because when we go to peoples houses they're so excited that we're doing all this work for them."
Lance's sister Mallory is also proud of the work they're doing. "It means a lot to them. You can tell cause the way they act when you do something for them. They want to give you money, but we don't take it or anything."
The life group doesn't affiliate with any particular church. They don't pick and choose the jobs the day, and they don't expect to be paid for their work. What they are doing is trying to make a difference in their community. You might even say, they're the answer to someone's prayers.
Just ask high school teacher Frank Mross, how much these students do. In January, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but he was back to work only a few weeks after surgery. He says the life group really makes a difference. "They pray for me. These kids cheer me up, and not only the kids of life, but the kids in the classroom. This whole school student body has gotten behind me, and its been one of the most awesome things I've ever witnessed in my life."
Frank Mross is praying for a full recovery. He believes with the help of the students and the power of prayer... A miracle is just a matter of time.