On the weekend of January 25-27, 60 volunteers converged on the home of Daryl & Julie Ferguson to help them out with some home repairs and remodeling. They had recently suffered some flood damage under their house that caused mildew & mold, and a whole host of related challenges inside their home. It was fantastic to help them out!
So for those of you who like it straight to the point, here are the stats!
• The Fergusons are now friends of ours. They are a couple in their thirties with 6 children aged 3 to 19. The 19 year old is mentally handicapped, and was a constant source of pleasure and encouragement for the volunteers.
• The Home – 1,100 sq.ft., 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, sitting on approx. 3 acres. Much of the land is completely undeveloped.
• The Projects – most of the projects we did involved replacement & repairs due to moisture/mold damage after flooding that occurred in the crawl space. We had an orientation meeting on Thursday, then worked all day Friday through Sunday.
1) We completely gutted and rebuilt the bathroom – floor, walls, ceiling, fixtures, the whole nine-yards! Previously, the bathroom walls and ceiling were severely moldy and the floor was rotted through to the crawl space.
2) Wall framing, sheetrock repairs, window replacement, painting, & carpet replacement in two bedrooms.
3) Crawl space cleanup, replacement of damaged/missing insulation, sump pump installation
4) General yard & debris cleanup. We filled a 20-foot long dumpster and a dump truck!
The Volunteers – In all, 60 people volunteered time & resources to this project, comprising 6 different work-crews. We were amazed by their willing & cheerful attitudes. It truly is ‘more blessed to give than to receive!’
Northshore – This special church was our ‘home’ for 5-years, having served in youth ministry there from 1996 until 2001. Dave Grant, one of Northshore’s pastors, was active in the project. He is working with senior pastor Ken Long this year to focus the mindset of the congregation “outside the walls” of the church. What a pleasure it was for us to partner with Northshore again in this way!
• Other blessings to Catalyst Project:
1) A recently retired plumber named Sam kindly donated his work van to our ministry. This will be invaluable for future projects. Thanks Sam!
2) Manor Hardware & Construction Supply heard about the project and our ministry, and generously donated almost $1,500 worth of tools, safety equipment, and fasteners for our use. Thanks Manor Hardware!
To all who helped & prayed for us and this project in any way, thank you! We look forward to what’s next!
TESTIMONIAL - by Marina Mitchell...
Wow…it’s difficult to put into words how this project went. It was bigger, by far, than anything we’ve yet done, and it was amazing and rewarding! Our journey into this way of serving has been anything but conventional, and much of the time it’s been downright challenging as we’ve ventured out of traditional ministry into a more community service-based approach. What is emerging is a very powerful & workable ministry model that blesses the socks off everyone involved!
As we drove away from the Ferguson’s home last Sunday night, I cried. For so many reasons, the tears fell:
• The fact that, if we hadn’t made sacrifices of comfort 16 months ago, this family would not be experiencing the blessings of the sorely needed major remodel of their home today.
• The humbling reality that this ministry is sparking individual fires in the lives of the people of Northshore Christian Church (our partner for this project) to express their love for God & others in such a remarkable manner. We’ve already begun discussing what comes next in our partnership.
• The comfort of knowing that the 6 children who live in that home will never forget how God provided for their family through our hands and feet and sweat. This will have a lasting impact on their perceptions of the God who cares.
• Knowing that countless ripples of blessing will continue to flow out to the Fergusons and their circle of influence every time this story is told.
• Experiencing the richness of love that flows through us when we serve.
Sunday evening before we left, a married couple (friends of the Fergusons) came to see what was happening. The young woman began to cry as she walked around the house during the final stages of putting the home back in order. She explained that the Fergusons were people just like you and I, who had a series of tough things happen in their lives. She told me that they had applied for ‘Extreme Home Makeover’ months ago, and did not get chosen. None of us knew this! So for us to have ‘randomly’ chosen this family to get the remodel is nothing less than supernatural! She began to cry as she talked about the amazing new start this was going to give them, not just because they now have a safe house to live in (we saw more mold then we’ve ever seen!!!), but she summed it up with emotional words that went something like this: “You will never know how you are impacting this family. This is doing much more for them than just giving them 3 brand new rooms. You are building them up on the inside; thank you.” Of course, I lost it about then and we cried together! What an honor.
This ministry flows out of our love for God. His love for all of us is amazing; and to be a part of His plan of blessing others and bringing them to a clearer knowledge of Him and His love for them is nothing short of life-changing for all of us! We’re still trying to fathom the reality that we get to do this – It’s wonderful!!!