World Changers repair Augusta homes

  • Follow Your Faith

Inch by inch, Pierce Hesser scraped paint off the old window frames of a small, one-story home on Kaufman Drive.

Back | Next
A group of teenagers work on chipping paint from a house that they are repairing in south Augusta as part of World Changers, a Southern Baptist mission group. More than 150 kids from five different states have traveled to Augusta for the week-long mission project.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
A group of teenagers work on chipping paint from a house that they are repairing in south Augusta as part of World Changers, a Southern Baptist mission group. More than 150 kids from five different states have traveled to Augusta for the week-long mission project.

“We came to serve,” said Pierce, 15, as crews around him knocked out rotting siding and prepped for painting. “Jesus didn’t come to be served, but to serve.”

Pierce is a World Changers volunteer, part of a group of Southern Baptist teens who have volunteered to spend a week of their summer demonstrating God’s love through acts of service.

They have four days to transform 10 homes in Augusta. Most are in the Richmond Hill area, with half on or around Rhodes Drive.

Fleming Baptist Church plays host to the group of 159 teens from eight churches in five states: Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.

Funding for the repairs comes from the city, which buys the supplies to revitalize substandard homes. The Augusta Housing and Development Association handles the applications. World Changers brings the labor.

“It really makes a difference to us, and it really makes a difference to the community,” City Administrator Fred Russell said to the group before crews left for their work sites Tuesday, the first day of the project.

This is World Changers’ 14th year in Augusta. In that time, it has painted, built wheelchair ramps and roofed countless homes, said Alyse Malavasi, a World Changers missions and communications specialist.

“The reason the kids are here is to share the love of Christ, not only through their words, but their actions,” Malavasi said. “There are a couple youth groups that return to Augusta every summer. Their churches are partnering with this city.”

Fourteen members of Pierce’s Port Charlotte, Fla., youth group drove 10 hours in a bus to get to Augusta on Monday.

It was his first year volunteering with World Changers. Diva Franco, also of Port Charlotte, returned for her second mission after serving in Brunswick, Ga., last summer.

“I just loved it,” the 18-year-old said. “Helping peo­ple, getting to know them as you work on the house. Last year, we got to know them really well. We had din­ner with them. It’s about building those relationships.”
By the end of the week, both the houses and the kids are changed for the better, said Billie Maples, a longtime World Changers volunteer from North Trenholm Baptist Church in Columbia.

“It’s not painting and doing all this. It’s changing lives,” said Maples, 81. “We get them away from Mommy and Daddy. They don’t go back the same. Some of these small churches have to work all year just to make money to come here. I love it. I’ve seen kids grow and have children and their children have children. It’s very rewarding.”

Comments (1) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
InChristLove
22420
Points
InChristLove 06/11/13 - 03:34 pm
0
0
May God place a hedge of

May God place a hedge of protection around these youth to keep them safe while they do His work and may He bless them and the families in which they serve.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Fire Department raises sought

The Augusta Fire Depart­ment will present a pay raise proposal for firefighters and administrators to the county’s public safety committee Monday.
Search Augusta jobs