Eighteen Iowans who are members of Christian Churches here leave tomorrow (Saturday) on a mission trip to help Texans still struggling to recover after Hurricane Rita. Gladys Sawyer of Ankeny is one of the Iowans who’s going. “It is a wonderful experience to give of yourself to someone else, pay your own way, take time to sleep on a church floor,” Sawyer says, laughing.

The 18 Iowans who attend Christian Disciples of Christ Churches in Des Moines, Ankeny, Urbandale, Osceola and Marion will be going to Port Arthur, Texas. Sawyer says the group will probably spend most of its time cutting and pruning trees. They may repair roofs and rip out water-damaged dry wall, too.

Sawyer says it will be a new experience for the group. Some of the group’s members, including Sawyer, have been on mission trips to Central America where they have built concrete-block buildings. Sawyer says the 18 Iowans will use a church as their home base, and sleep on the floor. She’s in no way hesitant. “My experience of doing mission trips is that I always gain more from the people than I give them,” Sawyer says. Sawyer’s husband is a retired Christian minister, and he’ll be going, too. The group will return on November 13th.