Missionaries Prepare for "Mission of Mercy" - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/21/04 - Near Lindale

Missionaries Prepare for "Mission of Mercy"

For these missionaries, their mission is clear.

"Not just meeting spiritual needs, but meeting physical needs first," Jenny Derksen, a missionary with Youth With A Mission, said. "I think most of us really felt like that was Jesus's example to us, was just as meeting people's physical needs first."

Turning the gym into a makeshift clinic and putting up tents to use as waiting areas. Hundreds of volunteers trying to meet the medical, dental, and eye care needs of thousands.

"To see something that people should be able to have and for some reason just can't afford, and to be able to give that to them and be a part of helping that, that is incredible," Bob Franke, another missionary, said.

The missionaries find joy in seeing all the smiles of appreciation after a day's work.

"It's kind of an emotional ups and down in seeing the people that we do help, but then seeing so many others that still need help," Derksen said.

"You can't find anything in the world that will touch you like that, when you can give to other people and there's no way of them paying you back because they just don't have it," Franke said. "And that's an awesome feeling."

A feeling that makes it all worthwhile.

"Mission of Mercy" starts Friday morning at 7 and runs until 5 p.m. It opens again Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is at the Youth With A Mission campus, just west of Lindale. More information is also available on our homepage. Just click on the "Know More on 7" icon. Coordinators are urging those who need care the most to line up early. Gates open tomorrow afternoon.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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