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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.

Six High Schoolers Spend Summer in Indy

By Chris Meehan

The Action Summer Internship. Back, from left: Chris Kadera, Matt Rubio, John Burke, Paul Hommes, Jonathan Willard. Front: George Kane, David Gruber. Not pictured: Thomas Brophy, Josiah Johnson, John Loughran. Photo Credit: Trish Brewer

Six high school boys from across the community spent their summers in Indianapolis for the first ever Action Summer Internship (ASI). The young men lived in a Christian household, gained experience in carpentry and plumbing, and served as a consistent and reliable backbone for visiting Action work crews.

The chance to learn building skills drew Jonathan Willard, 16, from Servant Branch. "I came because I wanted time to learn how to actually accomplish stuff and not have to keep stopping and asking for directions,” he said.

His cousin, 16-year-old Josiah Johnson, also from Minnesota, said his goal was to participate in as many Action trips as possible--in this case, three. Most of the young men stayed in Indianapolis for six or eight weeks allowing them to work alongside multiple Action crews.

George Kane (Indianapolis), a junior pre-med student at IUPUI,  led the ASI with help from fellow college students David Gruber (Indianapolis) and Matt Rubio (northern Virginia). “We wanted to provide a concentrated experience of community life, so we worked, ate, prayed and relaxed together. We also listened to several challenging talks a week by Walt Seale (Indianapolis)," George said. “Sometimes we talked into the night after Walt’s presentations," said John Loughran, 17, from South Bend.

From left: Thomas Brophy, David Gruber, Jonathan Willard and Chris Taylor (Corvallis).

Jonathan Willard, who received the baptism in the Holy Spirit during the summer, said he appreciated the opportunities for group and personal prayer that the internship afforded. "I was surprised at what a spiritual experience the ASI was."

For John Burke, an 18-year-old from the Rockford, Illinois, area, the internship was an inspiration to move to Indianapolis permanently. John did not grow up in the community but first became interested in Action after hearing about it from C.J. Newburn (Rockford). He has since joined the college men's household in the Triangle and is working to establish Indiana residency so he can attend college in Indianapolis.

He says a highlight of the summer was gutting two houses in preparation for renovation. “Destruction is my speciality!,” he says proudly, before recounting the day when he and David Gruber were given the task of removing a tree that had grown around and through a fence. “You’ll never get it out," one of the more experienced team members remarked. “But we did—and in only two hours!," John reports.

Thomas Brophy, 16, from Colorado Springs, remembers helping John Burke clear debris from a recently purchased duplex. “We had given up cleaning on our first attempt because the stench inside from rotting animals was too strong,” he says. Once they removed the decay and the place became tolerable, the young men threw themselves into the work, tearing up old carpets, and filling up a dumpster with dirty, smelly trash. Once in a while, Thomas would let out a yell just for fun as he tore into something big, heavy or especially grimy.

“We accomplished all of our most important renovation objectives for the summer,” says Paul Hommes (Indianapolis) who managed the Action work projects in Indianapolis. "It wouldn’t have happened without these young men on the ASI. When we were short on adult men the last two weeks, they took what they learned and rose to the occasion.”

“I was impressed and encouraged by what all of us in Action were able to do,” adds Chris Kadera, 17, from Servant Branch. “The Lord can really use us!”


  1. CJ Newburn says:

    What a great summer! So glad you fellas were all able to do this, and thanks for all who organized it! God is glorified through your hard work in the Lord, and most of all, through the love you have shown Him and one another.

  2. Jim Schenkel says:

    What a great opportunity for these young men on the ASI - and the Lord just keeps bringin' them to Himself. When they were little guys, their parents probably were all over them about stayin' out of the dirt. Now, hopefully, they can get their fill of it. Good work guys.

  3. Marge Connolly says:

    Way to go, guys! As Kerry Koller has said, "Nothing worth doing is easy."

  4. Pat Flynn says:

    This is a great opportunity for everyone involved. It is a great idea and hopefully will continue in the future.

  5. eileen horan says:

    What a blessing you guys are to all of us. You are building the kingdom and I am honored to be a part of POP with you!



  7. Kay Hill says:

    What a witness all of you are to those of us who would have
    loved to have been working alongside you, but could not!

  8. Marcie Rosencrantz says:

    God is doing a wonderful work using this boys who so willing give of their time.

  9. Pam Seale says:

    Thanks to Sean for putting this out. I had moved on to campus life! Yes, the Lord blessed us with a fantastic group of young men and women this summer. Together, we have eternally moved the kingdom forward according to the Father's plan. It doesn't get any better than that. Praise God!

  10. Nancy Grams says:

    It is so encouraging for those of us who have been around a while to see you young men step up and give your all to what the Lord is doing in the world today. Don't stop! There is always more!

  11. Mary Kay Gleason says:

    What a great way to experience community life together and get a lot of things accomplished! You all are just plain impressive!

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