Changing Houses – Changing Lives

Two weeks of 2017 Kentucky Changers are “in the books” as they say with two more to go. Kentucky Changers made their first trip to Shelby Baptist Association in June where they completed 17 projects. Steve Coleman was the camp pastor and Brandon Watkins led worship music.

As a member of a Shelby Baptist Association church, I was very excited to have Kentucky Changers in my association. It was wonderful to see people I know from Shelby churches working together to host changers. This included organizing the projects, making lunches, serving as runners for crews, and a myriad of other jobs. Due to being in Phoenix for the Southern Baptist Convention, I was not able to be on site during the week but did attend the celebration service on Thursday evening with the homeowners. What a great time to see the before and after pictures of the projects and to hear from the homeowners who were helped.

I was able to spend a week with Changers in Harrodsburg. There we slept on the floor at Mercer County High School, worshipped in area churches, and worked on 12 projects. Projects including roofing, painting, and building decks and ramps. The homeowner stories of things that had happened helped the Changers to understand how much their work meant.

After worship each evening, Changers gathered in church groups for evening devotions. Using a devotional booklet called “The Blueprint,” written annually for Kentucky Changers, we discussed verses from 1 John and the theme “Love Out Loud.” I was able to participate with four young ladies from one church who had been coming to Changers for several years. I appreciated their deep faith and commitment. They were all at the age when they certainly could have been doing things like summer jobs or other activities. Instead, they chose to come to Changers, to be a part of changing lives, one house at a time.

For several days in Harrodsburg, I served as the photographer and visited all the work sites. I spent time talking with the students about their experiences and encouraging them to be involved in ongoing missions through Acteens, Challengers, or Youth on Mission. I also promoted the Creative Ministries Festival with students and leaders. Then on Wednesday, I was able to work with one crew all day. While most of the team worked on building a back porch and steps, I helped a student powerwash the house, then we painted the shutters and a glider.

At the close of the week, one Kentucky Changer posted this on Facebook: “Man, this week has been great ! I wish it didn’t come to an end! I learned a lot & the Kentucky Changers Ministry Team inspired me a lot . I learned this [world] is not a forever home so these aren’t my forever friends, family. My forever home is heaven & it’s waiting on me. So the stupid things I do have to stop for Him. I’ve done 4 things [this week]: 1. Rebuild a garage. 2. Spread the gospel. 3. Tell my testimony to a random neighbor that I had no clue I was gonna meet & I probably changed lives this weekend & it feels great! 4. Sleep & work & live with random people who now I’m in contact with. #KentuckyChangers – Best Experience Of My Life ❤️‼️”

Homeowners were touched by the work and witness of Changers. Some homeowners were believers for whom the work of the volunteers was a great blessing to them. Others heard the gospel for the first time because of the work of Kentucky Changers. As the Changers worked, they also prayerwalked in the community. Their presence was a testimony of God’s love and grace as neighbors watched not only the transformation of a house, but also the walk of teenagers who had come to serve.

Pray for our final two weeks of Changers as we serve in Albany (July 1-7) and Greensburg (July 8-15). Pray for a powerful witness in these communities and for students and homeowners to be saved. Pray about the weather as well as safety in travel and in service for all who participate.

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