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August 11, 2009

Posted by allthingshavelock in Havelock Churches.
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August 05, 2009 6:17 AM
By Ken Buday
Havelock News


While summer may be a good time for vacations, a group from Havelock found it a good time to help those in need.

A group of 30 volunteers spent a week in the mountains of West Virginia, helping residents there with home repairs and various other projects.

“It was a good time for fellowship,” said James Godley, a construction contractor who made the trip. “You work your tails off, but that’s the mission.”

The group included construction workers, Marines from Cherry Point, workers from BSH in New Bern and others associated with Fellowship for Christ in Havelock.

The projects involved construction of a 60-foot retaining wall for one West Virginia resident whose property and home were in danger from a nearby hill.

“His backyard was flooding away every year,” said Mike Janes, one of the Marines who volunteered for the trip. “Everything flowed right into the street. Eventually, his house could have fallen away.”

Janes said the homeowner had a blood disease, a 6-year-old boy at home and a father who had recently had a stroke.

“He tried to help, but we just kept having to tell him to sit and relax,” Janes said of the homeowner. “He was trying to help so much. He was so grateful.

“His 6-year-old boy had a shovel and a toy dump truck, and he would shovel gravel into his truck and bring it to us. It was pretty cool.”

On the final day of the mission, the group constructed a 60-foot long handicap ramp at the home to allow the owner’s father access to the home.

The group also helped repair a teen center that had fallen into disrepair.

“It was covered in poison ivy and the stairs were rotten,” Godley said. “The job was supposed to be to just change the windows, but it was a lot more than that.”

Another job involved changing out windows on the home of a woman’s mobile home.

“There were holes in the floor and in the side,” Godley said. “We had to remove a lot of trash.

“At first, I don’t know if it was shame or what, we would take something out, and she would bring it back in through the back door. By the end though, she ended up helping. Eventually, she just broke down crying. Everyone was crying.”

Jeff Knipple, who helped organize the trip, said the church partnered with the WorldVision missions project, while BSH supplied tools for the work and Golden Corral in Morehead City allowed volunteers to raise money for the work by waitressing for tips.

He said the reaction of the residents was amazing.

“The first day, there was just plain despair, almost a woe-is-me type mentality, thinking things were so bad and feeling as through there was no one who cared for them,” Knipple said. “By the second day, due to the fact that this team was working so hard, caring so much and spending as much as we did to help, the community became transformed. The homeowners, other churches and their members, as well as others in the community, began to chip in and assist.”

Beyond the construction projects, volunteers also brought clothing and school supplies for the residents.

“As much as it helped them, I think it affected a lot of us,” Godley said. “I think our group got as much out of it as they did.”

Janes said helping those is need is just part of God’s plan.

“It’s a good feeling knowing you have helped someone in need,” Janes said. “It’s much better than sitting back and watching the world. We should be making God’s world a better place. We’re just so grateful.”