Frankfort—Approximately 210 volunteers ranging from youth to retired adults spent five days serving the Frankfort and Lawrenceburg communities in mid-July. They renovated and repaired houses and mobile homes and worshipped at area churches.
“The homeowners are very appreciative,” said Peggy Murphy, Kentucky Changers coordinator for the Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union, which coordinated the event. “(The volunteers) are learning what it means to be on mission. (Being on mission) is not a location; it’s a lifestyle.”
Thirteen groups of volunteers performed service projects at 14 sites, which included projects at Anderson County High School. Crews were given four days to complete the projects, working from morning until about 3 p.m. The cities of Frankfort and Lawrenceburg helped furnish the projects.
Their efforts not only touched the lives of the homeowners, but their own as well.
“We’ve seen people making decisions,” added Murphy. “God gets the glory this week. We’re excited to see how (Changers) will look in the future.”
The end goal for Changers projects is not repairing a roof, installing new vinyl, cleaning a trailer, repairing a mobile home or constructing a retaining wall to keep out water. It is seeing God change lives through the gospel; it is using construction, repair and service to point others to Jesus.
“We’ve seen homeowners and Changers saved,” said Joy Bolton, executive director-treasurer of Kentucky WMU, “This is about living out our faith.”
At the end of each work day, volunteers gathered for a worship service and devotionals at their host church, where they slept and dined. Youth were taught how to write their testimonies and how to actively share their faith.
“We encouraged prayer walks among the community (by volunteers),” said Bolton, “This is a hands-on missions experience.”
Volunteers were instructed to hand out multi-colored bracelets, with each color representing a part of the gospel.
“When the Lord opens the door, we need to be able to share,” said Randy Foster, crew chief for one of the Frankfort sites, “There’s been great interaction among everyone. Kids are learning skills and how to work together.”
Tiana Asberry, a high school senior, was serving at another Frankfort home project that involved constructing fences. She was working with Hedgeville Baptist Church. It was her fifth year serving with Kentucky Changers.
“We are called to be the hands and feet of God,” said Asberry. “We are called into a stronger relationship with God.”
“The youth teach you as much as you teach them,” said Tim Bowling, crew chief for a Frankfort mobile home project. “Doing God’s work is very fulfilling. In just a week you can become a family.”
The ability to balance gospel proclamation and serving the nearby community is what Kentucky WMU strives to achieve and encourage every day. Kentucky Changers is just another way to accomplish that goal.
“Some don’t have the resources to do construction,” explained Bolton. “We try to be a tangible expression of the gospel.” (WR)