Showers and Blessings

If you drove by St. James on Saturday, August 25th, you would have heard a symphony. Here’s what happened. People from four churches: St. James, Mt. Olive United Methodist, Chapel Pike Wesleyan and Converse Church of Christ, gave of their time and talents to build wall sections for four houses so that two Grant County families, one with a handicapped child, and two Madison County families could have a place to call home. All in all, around 110 people were involved on Saturday, and there were around forty on Friday. Crossroads Missions planned building the houses for Grant County Habitat for Humanity.

The music started Friday at 4 as over $7, 000 in lumber was laid out and sawn into the lengths needed for the panels. The Wilk girls and others were busy marking letter and number designations on the wood, and adults and children alike toted and carried said wood to its preselected place in the parking lot. It didn’t rain on us, although it came close. All the cutting was done and all the equipment put away by 6:15; the storm came shortly thereafter.

The next morning, volunteers received their “volunteer-friendly” instructions. Here’s the gist of them: little wood takes little nails and big wood takes big ones.

Off we went to the parking lot. Our fearless leaders grabbed plans and told us what to tote back from the carefully sorted lumber. We all carried D10-33s and a LOT of H70s! As you listened to those around you, you heard people asking where the houses went. What did we know about the families? You heard about a father whose family was blessed by knowing that the prayers and well wishes of others were written on his walls. You saw people get excited as one house was erected on our parking lot. They couldn’t wait to sign studs and walls with prayers and Bible verses. You heard stories of Habitat houses that lasted through hurricanes because the volunteers who built them liked to nail. And you heard a LOT of hammering.

There were a few injuries. One man’s hand required six stitches, but he was back and smiling Saturday morning. And then there were the blisters from hammering. You can ask Dottie Wolf about those. Even though we were rained on, though, nobody gave up. In around eight hours, we finished the four houses, including the one on the parking lot.

Brian from Crossroads Missions said that as you listened to the hammers ring, you should think of them as music, as praise rising to God. I think everyone involved felt that atmosphere of praise. And although the next day one man said he felt pretty good “from the neck up,” I don’t think any of us really minded the sore muscles. It was the serving that mattered the most.

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