Members from Northside Baptist Church in Jasper, Youthworks from the First Baptist Church of Elon, N.C., and the Korean Presbyterian Church of Pelham donated their time and effort for homeowners Gloria Ogbeide and Angelina Gossett.
The home renovation projects are being conducted on four homes in Jasper this week and, possibly, next Tuesday and Wednesday. Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity started a new program called ‘Students for Change,’ which is a youth-oriented home renovation project. Habitat has partnered with CSX, Wells Fargo and the Walker Area Community Foundation to make these homeowners’ dreams become a reality.
“These fellows have gone beyond the call of duty. They’ve just been wonderful,” Gossett said about the volunteers from Northside Baptist. “People don’t understand all the things that Habitat does. It’s just unreal how people want to help people.”
The team from Northside Baptist Church stayed busy working on Gossett’s home in the hot weather Wednesday. Some of the men were on ladders hammering away while others were measuring and sawing wood. David Hendon, the Northside men’s ministry leader, said he and church members were excited to be able to volunteer and do mission work locally this year.
“We love to help people. We always try to have a mission trip every year,” Hendon said. “We were tickled to death to get to do one locally this year ... It’s all about helping people. When God gifts you with the ability to do something for others, then why not use those skills for that purpose.”
Wiping the sweat from his forehead, Brother David Byrd, pastor of Northside Baptist, bragged about his church members saying they all have a great time working with each other and carry on a good comradery.
“Each summer we do a mission project, and this is actually the first time we’ve ever worked here in Jasper,” Byrd said. “We worked last year in Ider rebuilding a house that was destroyed by a tornado. Two years ago we worked in Bremen helping rebuild the Antioch Church that was also destroyed in the April 27, 2011, tornadoes.
“We got a lot of talented people. We just try to be the hands and feet of Jesus. (We are) serving Him and helping people that are in need because that’s just what He told us to do.”
At Ogbeide’s home on Alabama Highway 269, young and old shared the work load. With a paint brush resting in his hand, Pastor Sam Chang from the Korean Presbyterian Church of Pelham took a short break in the shade to get some relief from the blazing sun.
“This is for our faith. This is where worship happens. This is what God really wants to see, especially with this younger generation,” Chang said. “This is what we’ve been called to do. There are families in need and that’s something as Christians we should really do by helping others.”
Sally Farnham, a member from the First Baptist Church of Elon in North Carolina, spent her birthday volunteering at the home. She and her son, who was working on another home project in the area, traveled for hours to donate their time by helping others.
“We do this at our regular homes all the time, so it’s nice to be able to come out and do it for somebody else that can’t do it,” Farnham said with a smile. “It makes me feel grateful for what I do have and for what I can do.”
One of the Elon church’s youth members, 17-year-old Chase Briggs, said, “I enjoy volunteering. I think it’s great to help out the community and people that need help that can’t exactly help themselves.”
Volunteers dedicated their time this week to help spruce up homes and yards, but according to Gossett, they did a lot more than just that.
“The only thing you read in the papers these days is the bad things, but they need to put something in there about all the good things that are going on in our country,” Gossett said proudly. “I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart, and they will always be in my prayers.”