By Charlotte Underwood / Staff Writer
Two church groups from Virginia traveled eight hours to Whitley County to help with building projects for local families.
“It’s all about ministering to the people,” said trip organizer Kyle Spille, who has been coming to Whitley County for ministry projects for nearly 10 years. The 24-year-old member of Grace Life Church out of Bristow, Va., has been organizing the trips for the last two years.
Approximately 60 members from both Grace Life Church and New Life Christian Church out of Chantilly Va., volunteered their time and efforts to aid two Whitley County families with home building projects. The two church volunteer groups operate under the joint name of Crosseyed Builders from Virginia.
Members ranging in age from teenagers to adults arrived around July 7 and left on July 14. They spent the week building two room additions, underpinning a residence and building a porch, with much of the work being done in the rain.
“Grace Life has worked with local hardware store owner Lee Bryant for years on projects like this,” Spille said. Spille has been coming to do ministry work in the area since he was a sophomore in high school.
New Life Church member Charlene Meny brought her oldest son down for this past week’s ministry work.
“While the ultimate goal is to come and serve God, I also wanted to bring my 9-year-old son Dakota to the area so he could experience a different way of life,” Meny said, explaining that the area of Virginia that they lived in was more “fast paced and luxurious.”
“I wanted him to see that others live differently and know that we are here to serve however we need to serve,” Meny said. During the week she sustained a sprained ankle in the line of duty when she tripped over an extension cord. After her injury she spent time pulling kitchen duty to help feed the other volunteers.
“Whether it is making sandwiches or digging ditches, we are here to serve,” Meny said, adding that this first trip has been an “amazing experience” for her and her son.
Johnny Nicks, his wife Teresa, and their four children were one of the recipients of a home addition, a new porch and some underpinning work.
“It is amazing, I never dreamed of getting this much work done or that all these people would come help; words can’t describe how great it is. It is just unreal,” Johnny Nicks said.
“It is just our way of showing love to God’s community down here; we are the hands and feet,” Spille said.