Helping a dying man find peace

Bob Perkins served as a crew leader with Kentucky Changers in Frankfort/Lawrenceburg this past summer.  His crew worked on a house owned by Gillford and Martha, an older couple in Frankfort.  Bob recently shared the impact of Kentucky Changers on this couple and himself.

Bob said, “We cleaned up their yard, rebuilt their deck/porch which was falling in, installed lattice panels and did some gutter work. We had information that the city of Frankfort had issued an order that could condemn the home without these repairs.”

Frankfort porch teamBob was especially concerned for Gillford who had serious health issues and stayed in his pajamas all week. From their conversations, the deck/porch was the primary issue between the couple and the city. The deck served as a main point in their lives, bringing them happiness through all the days they would entertain family and friends.  Bob’s primary concern was that this gentleman was “mad at his church.” The couple had been very active in their local church in years past and for some reason the relationship had soured.  “Our crew prayed several times while at their home that week,” said Bob, “that God would restore their faith and attitude towards their church and God.”

A teenage girl on the crew also spent time talking with the couple during the week. This girl also made a profession of faith that week and was sharing her new faith with Martha and Gillford.  On the last day that the crew worked at this home, the couple invited the crew in. Gillford picked up his guitar and the couple sang several songs for the team. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd,” said Bob. The couple “also became emotional upon giving us the pleasure of hearing their testimony of how they were ‘lifted’ by our faith, work and friendship.”

After the Kentucky Changers week working on this home, Bob continued to talk with Gillford and Martha. On September 5, after returning from a mission trip in Alaska, Bob had a phone call from Martha. “I started not to take the call because it was late and I was tired. But I took the call and and on the other end was Martha.” She told Bob that her husband was near death and would not make it through the night. She complimented the Changers team and especially the young teenage girl and Bob. She told him that their contact with Kentucky Changers had “softened” her husband’s heart toward God and His church. In the last few months all he talked about was the young kids who had come and rebuilt his deck. He spent many of his remaining days on the porch and enjoying his time outside. Bob prayed with Martha on the phone, asking God for His love and peace for the family. Gillford died that night.

On Friday after Gillford died, Bob talked again with Martha. She repeated her praises for the Kentucky Changers team and spoke of the joy the team brought to the couple. She was so happy that her husband had made peace within himself and with God in the weeks since the Changers team was at their home.

In reflecting on the summer experience with this couple, Bob said, “What price can any of us place on helping a dying man find peace in the final weeks of his life? Who would have thought that the conversations of a fifteen year old teenager and a handshake from me would change the heart of this man. God is so great.”

Cost of a week at Kentucky Changers for a student – $200.  Helping a dying man find peace – priceless!

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