“It’s a wonderful thing they do.”
That was what Afton-Elberon community resident Bridget Williams said as eight youth and adult volunteers from the Christian ministry Servants on Site constructed a ramp at her home last week.
They were among more than 300 volunteers who spent the week in Warren, Vance and Granville counties constructing 13 roofs and six handicapped ramps, and making repairs at three homes. The youth and adults devoted their time to carry out Servants on Site’s mission to complete home projects in Warren and surrounding counties while spreading God’s love.
Servants on Site, an initiative of Rebuilding Hope, Inc. of Henderson, grew out of World Changers, a similar effort that brought volunteers to Warren County for two consecutive years. Rebuilding Hope took up the project six years ago, when World Changers was unable to return to the local area. Volunteers provide home repairs for people who can’t complete them themselves, whether through health or financial constraints.
Volunteers served in capacities ranging from workers and crew leaders to chaperones and feeding teams. Area churches partner with the project by providing adult volunteers, construction funds, worship ministers, and lunches and snacks on site.
Volunteers at the Afton-Elberon site came from Lake Gaston and Enterprise Baptist churches near Littleton, West End Baptist Church in Henderson and Franklinton Baptist Church. Youth handling the work at the site ranged in age from 12-17. Other Warren County volunteers involved with Servants on Site last week hailed from Norlina Baptist Church and from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Ridgeway.
Volunteers Jay Ayscue, Jerry Ayscue, Katie Outhouse, Bill Overby, Brian Parrish, Greyson Parrish, Avery Patterson and Katrina Royal finished Williams’ ramp early in the week before moving on to other projects, constructing a total of two ramps and making a deck repair. Back in the Afton-Elberon community, they gained a new friend who praised God for their help.
“They do a great job,” Williams said. “God helps them understand the meaning of what they do.”
She added that she wished more young people would join programs such as Servants on Site in order to become more involved in helping their communities.
Afton-Elberon site crew leader Bill Overby said that helping someone like Williams is Servants on Site’s mission. She needed a safer way to enter and leave her home than the concrete steps leading to her porch.
Overby said that the project helps not only homeowners like Williams, but the young volunteers as well.
“It’s a great experience, a giving experience,” he said. “There’s always a need.”
In addition to the local area, this year’s Servants on Site volunteers came from Franklin, Elkin and Columbia, S.C. Each day’s activities began at 5 a.m. when they prepared to leave their home away from home, Crossroads Christian School in Henderson, in time to arrive at nearby Central Baptist Church at 6 a.m. for breakfast.
Volunteers left the church at 7 a.m. to head to their project sites for a busy day of work. After a lunch break and devotion, it was back to work for a full afternoon before leaving at 4 p.m. to head back to Crossroads Christian School to prepare for 6 p.m. supper at Central Baptist Church.
Evening activities included a worship service, church group devotionals and free time before lights out at 10:30 p.m.
Randolph Wilson of Rebuilding Hope said that participating in Servants on Site helps youth not only by sharing the love of Christ and helping the community, but also in forming new friendships. Members of different church youth groups are divided among various teams, allowing them to meet other people their age.
“They build relationships that can last a lifetime,” Wilson said.
Overby observed that some of the teens have volunteered with Servants on Site in the past, while others are new to the experience of helping someone in need.
He was pleased with the work ethic of the group constructing the ramp at Williams’ home.
“They learned to use power tools,” Overby said. “They all worked very hard. They worked very well together.”