By Chris Meehan
Fourteen Action members are in Indianapolis this week repairing homes on the city’s South Side. Team members are mudding joints, installing windows and doors, adding support beams to a teetering garage and hauling away trash and debris.
This trip includes four Action veterans—Don Ferber (Servant Branch), Chris and Geriann Raway (Servant Branch) and Sam Mertz (South Bend)—who have logged 29 trips to Allendale or Indianapolis among them.
I asked them why they keep going back.
“Working on these trips energizes me,” says Don, a retiree who has traveled 12 times to Allendale and Indianapolis since 2003. “It expands my sense of belonging to the community. I have friends throughout the branches that I’ve met from the trips.”
Chris Raway (Servant Branch) is on his fifth Action trip. “I’m a handyman and I can apply my skills,” he says. “It’s fun teaching them to brothers and sisters.”
“You don’t have to be Mr. Handyman to help on these trips,” he adds. “It’s great if you can plumb, install wiring or do carpentry, but if you can’t there’s still plenty of work to do.”
Work like driving the team from place to place, preparing meals, or traveling to the various Lowe’s and Home Depots around town and begging for discounted building materials.
“The life experiences that adults bring to these trips are huge assets,” adds Mike Coney (Indianapolis), who is managing this Action team’s work. “Just knowing what questions to ask about a job and when to ask them can make the difference between success and failure.”
Jim Brickweg, a junior at Trinity School at River Ridge, says he’s grateful for the chance to improve his carpentry skills. “I spent most of this trip putting in doors, which I didn’t know how to do before. I’ve been working with Chris—it’s been great getting to know him. I can tap into wells of wisdom I don't already have.”
A Request for More Action Workers
From Mike Zusi, Action Program Coordinator
Brothers and Sisters,
We need more workers on this summer’s Action trips to Allendale and Indianapolis. We need drivers. We need men and women with experience in construction and experience managing projects and people. We need cooks, shoppers and people willing to beg for discounted and donated materials.
The success of our Action teams depends on the volunteers who come on the trips to lead work crews, teach skills and support the summer staff. Take a look at your summer schedule and pray about serving on an Action trip. Then go to the Action page of the People of Praise website for information on trips and dates this summer.
Thanks to everyone who has served on Action trips, and thanks also for all your support of Action fundraising. Your sacrifices are bearing great fruit.