Amid the pounding of hammers and snap of staple guns, Beth Tabb walked through her front yard and across Kings Woods Drive to her sister’s house, where another group of young people were painting.
Both homes received new roofs, a coat of paint, and Tabb got a railing on her side porch, thanks to World Changers.
It’s a ministry of Lifeway Christian Resources, which is a branch of the Southern Baptist Convention. Students from across the country serve in more than 85 cities to share the gospel while repairing homes.
Locally, 12 teams are working this week at 11 homes across the area, mostly between Verdery Street and Haynie Drive in Augusta.
The city is supplying the materials and World Changers the labor. Homes were chosen by the Augusta Housing Authority through a homeowner application process.
Many of the applicants were chosen based on need and income.
“It made me very happy,” said Tabb’s sister, Robin Kester. “You know you need repairs, but it’s just a little bit more than your budget. When something like this comes, you’re just forever grateful.”
Tabb said she needed a roof badly, but said according to her budgeting projections it would be at least two years before she could start saving for one.
“It’s like a miracle just dropped in our laps,” she said.
Nick McNabb, 17, had been painting at Tabb’s home Wednesday morning. He came with his youth group from Victory Baptist Church in St. Mary’s, Ga. He and the other 133 students who participated in Augusta are staying at Fleming Baptist Church for the week.
McNabb said he accepted Christ at the end of last year and the timing of this project was perfect for him to serve. When he learned his church would participate in World Changers, he wanted to see what it was like.
“It’s hot but it’s worth it,” he said. “I’ll definitely do it again.”
Diane Jacobson came with her church’s youth group from Clear Springs Baptist Church in John’s Creek, Ga.
She and her husband have participated with their children for several years. She said they have also worked on houses in Mississippi and Clarksville, Tenn.
The World Changers Web site lists cities with projects that need to be done, and youth groups can pick based on how far away from home they can afford to go.
“You choose where you want to go,” she said.
The work is a way into the city through an act of service by the students, said Micah Smith, spokesperson for World Changers.
“Our main purpose is to share the Gospel and show God’s love to the city of Augusta,” she said. “It’s a really good tool for the homeowner, for getting to know the homeowner.”
Jacobson said the work crews are blessed as much as they are blessing others.
Every morning, before starting work, the team prays with the homeowners.
“They’re praying with us. While we’re praying for them, they want to pray for us,” Jacobson said.