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This is Praise Harvest
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May 30

This is Praise Harvest

In Evansville, IN, People of Praise members have turned vacant lots into an urban farm that produces thousands of pounds of vegetables each year for their neighborhood.

Tenth Summer of Action Work Underway


By Chris Meehan

In June, Action volunteers from around the community took to the road for their tenth summer of work projects. The teams began major renovations to two Indianapolis homes, started a series of repair projects for Allendale neighbors, and restarted the annual summer camp for Allendale children.

This year’s camp has already broken previous attendance records. “Forty-three kids showed up for opening day,” says Catherine Bulger of the Allendale summer staff, “about 10 more than last year’s opening day. Our second day was larger than the biggest day last summer, and our third day we surpassed even that: 57 kids.” Attendance is expected to increase again after summer school sessions let out.

“The higher number of kids forced us to stretch and regroup a bit,” adds Ben Reinhardt, leader of the Action efforts in Allendale this year. “But the summer is off to a great start.”

Ben and other staff members lined up 12 home-repair projects for Allendale neighbors, and they are also planning improvements to some of the properties owned by Christians in Mission team members on Yale Avenue. The crew really appreciated the experience of Ed Konczesky (Tampa), who is a licensed contractor. With his help and some donated building materials, they were able to rebuild a porch for a neighbor instead of just patching it. The team has also started sealing gaps in some CIM houses which birds had decided to build nests in. They have also begun to insulate pipes underneath the houses. “It feels funny to be insulating pipes when it’s 97 degrees out,” says Ben, “but last winter the pipes froze beneath several of our houses, so it needs to get done.”

In Indianapolis, the first of three Action teams has concluded its work. “We made major progress on our main goal of renovating two duplexes,” says Paul Hommes, who is managing the work projects. “The first, 1436 Montcalm in the Triangle, needed repairs to prepare it for a new student household. We’re putting the two units back together to form a single-family house.”

(L-R): Mary (Colorado Springs), Barbara (northern Virginia), Gabi (Indianapolis), Kathleen (northern Virginia) and Lizzy (Shreveport, hidden) scraped flaking paint from the siding of a house on Union Street which the People of Praise owns.

In reuniting the two halves of the duplex, they needed to knock a hole in a load-bearing divider wall to install a door. “You don’t want to make more holes than necessary, or run into plumbing or electrical wiring, so you have to be careful,” Paul explains. “We finally chose a spot, only to discover--once we cut through a layer of plaster--a complete, useable door frame already in place hidden in the wall.”

Paul made ample use of the building skills of Jack Busekrus (Oahu), who came to Indianapolis with his wife Haidy for their second Action trip. “Jack is 77, yet after a full day of demolition, even working during breaks, he was still smiling and energetic,” says Paul. “He was an amazing example.” Haidy didn’t have much construction experience, but, she says, “Paul did a good job of finding things that I could handle, such as going on errands, cleaning tools and organizing them. I appreciate that, as well as the loving care of Walt and Pam Seale, who made sure all our needs were met.”

In the backyard of the duplex in which the CIM men live on the South Side were two large clumps of cement in the ground that had once secured fence posts. It took seven young men to get the first one out, but the second had to be broken up before it could be removed. (L-R): Peter Kress (northern Virginia), Jonathan Willard (Servant Branch), Matt Rubio (northern Virginia), David Gruber (Indianapolis), John Burke (Rockford), Paul Hommes and Kevin Schmidt, a South Side volunteer.

The second duplex targeted for renovation is on the South Side, where it will eventually house CIM team members. “It’ll be a while before it’s fit for human habitation,” says Paul, “but we had to take the first stab at it.” The place reeked of urine and dog feces. “We scrubbed just about everything we could see with bleach,” said team member Caityln Conlon, a 15-year-old sophomore from Muncie. “The whole trip involved a lot of cleaning. I helped shovel enough dirt from inside and outside of one house to fill 50 trash bags. This trip was one of the best things I’ve ever done!”

On Saturday, June 11, the first team joined local CIM members, Triangle residents, members of the Indianapolis branch and South Siders for the now traditional neighborhood block party on Karcher Street. This year a prayer meeting followed immediately afterward to celebrate Pentecost, which was the following day. Mike Coney, head of the local CIM team, says at least seven children and teenagers were prayed with to be baptized in the Spirit that evening.

Mike Zusi, Action program office coordinator, notes that there is still room for a few more adults on the later trips this summer. E-mail him at [email protected] for more information.


  1. Ron Gouveia says:

    Great work brothers and sisters!

  2. Anne Brewer says:

    Wow! Thanks for all the hard work making these houses live-able and beautiful. Great story about finding the door in the wall. Sounds like you figured out the right place to make the connection!

  3. Fred Smith says:

    We were there (Allendale , 6/20-6/30), we were blessed by the Kids in Camp , by the Team's ingenuity,unity, and commitment and by the great hospitality on Yale (Seitz' & Deakins')and in Shreveport(Vaughans).We highly recommend an Action visit- hanging-out or working-out! Ya'll come now!

  4. Fred Smith says:

    Sue and I thank Cliff and Ben Vaughan for their gracious and warm hospitality and we ask prayer for Debbie Vaughan , in Dallas for stem-cell treatment!God bless our Louisiana Brethren!

  5. Cyndi Smith says:

    Nothing compares to working with brothers and sisters, to make a difficult job actually enjoyable. And that Jack Busekrus puts a whole other definition on "retirement." The Karcher Street block-party/prayer-meeting, with seven children and teenagers being prayed with for the baptism of the Spirit, shows the fruit that the Lord is producing in our midst. Our God is an awesome God!

  6. John Boughton says:

    Good to see the pictures, too, with volunteers from so many branches. The Kingdom grows. Good work, everybody.

  7. Nancy Grams says:

    This is all such exciting and edifying news from the frontlines! May the Father contnue to bless the work of Action done by his People of Praise in this generation and the next!

  8. Mary Kay Gleason says:

    Wow! My prayers continue for all of you! (Paul Hommes is my nephew, so I'm going to send this out to the all relatives in Indiana and elsewhere.) Sorry, Paul... but we are pretty proud of you and all of our younger brothers and sisters in Allendale, Indianapolis, etc. God bless you all!

  9. Edna Malone says:

    These may seem like grunt jobs to those doing them but God is doing a mighty work in Allendale and Indy and now Evansville. Remember that this isn't your work but God's work and He will continue to bless it in a mighty, powerful way. You are all in our hearts and prayers every day. Keep on running the race!!!

  10. Carmen Fraga says:

    Inspiring Story about the work of so many! Sounds like the Lord is renewing the hearts of the workers as well as the neighborhood! We are excited to see so much joy in the midst of much labor! Way to go!

  11. Cynthia Hagens says:

    Praise the Lord for all the work you do and is being done. God is working and it's exciting to hear all that you are doing.

  12. Marcie Rosencrantz says:

    It' wonderful to see what our young people are doing in our community. Praise God for all they do.

  13. Donald Busekrus says:

    The Kingdom is alive and thriving. All glory to God our Father, and thanks to his Holy Spirit, and to Christ who
    lives, moves, and breathes in us. Come Lord Jesus and
    heal our land.

  14. Virginia (Gina) Kadera says:

    God is so good!
    What a blessing you all are to Him. It is through your faithfulness that many will come to know Him.

  15. Kim Doffing says:

    My heart and mind well with excitement and great appreciation at all God is leading us to do as his People of Praise! I give up praise and Glory to God for each one of YOU! Onward!

  16. Dianne Cunningham says:

    Thank you for the work you are doing. Your hands and feet, sweat on your brows, singing and laughter, frustration and tears are Christ. You are making a difference. We are proud to know you.

  17. tom caneff says:

    I'm not sure what moves me more; the work (and fun!)being done by you on the many missionary fronts OR the (now 17) responses left by brothers and sisters from around the People of Praise. What you workers do is inspiring and the responses given are also so inspiring. From Glory to Glory!!

    Praise God

  18. Paul Putzier says:

    Amazing! The thought of 50+ attending the Allendale summer camp just fills me with gratitude for all the work of the body there. I can close my eyes and just imagine how crazy and fun camp must be. Also the important work of home buiding/repairs seems to be on steroids. You guys all are incredible. Keep up the Good Work of the Lord!!

  19. Edward says:

    What else does God expect from us than this. Keep it up. There are more testimonies ahead.

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