Skateboarding, paintball, a ropes course, horseback riding, and rodeo: What do all of these have in common? Besides engaging young campers in fun summer activities, safety also is important at River Valley Ranch summer camp.
Families across the country once tuned in every Sunday night to watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. At Green Ridge Assembly of God in Scranton, Pennsylvania, church members created their own version of the popular TV show.
“Our church’s theme is ‘building a community to reach a community,’” says Pastor Dave Twiss, lead pastor at Green Ridge Assembly of God. “We have a lot of contractors at our church, and we’ve done construction projects overseas. We thought it would be a great idea to do something like that right here at home.”
Early in the project planning process, Pastor Dave said that insurance was definitely a concern. “Brotherhood Mutual was very accommodating and helped us keep things as safe as possible with the home makeover project,” says Pastor Dave. “The company has always been very good about that.”
“Being a very good steward, he wanted to know if the church needed extra insurance to do this,” says the church’s Brotherhood Mutual insurance agent Dave Olshevski. “He had the foresight to call his insurance company prior to embarking on this project.”
The church sent applications into the community, looking for a family in need. They selected a family of seven from a nearby town. With two working parents and five children ranging in age from 4 to 16, the busy family had little time or money to make some much-needed home repairs.
With about 75 volunteers, the group from Green Ridge Assembly of God set out to refurbish this family’s home in three days’ time. The group power-washed the home’s exterior, replaced the sidewalk and back porch, replaced windows and doors, painted every room inside the house and replaced the trim, laid new carpet and ceramic tile, completely refurbished the bathroom and kitchen, repaired the damaged ceiling, and much more.
“The family had no idea we would be able to do so much,” says Pastor Dave. “When they came home on Sunday afternoon, they were completely overwhelmed. It was an incredible experience for all of us.”
It wasn’t just the family and volunteers who reaped the benefits of this project, but the community at large. “The project had an incredible impact on our community,” says Pastor Dave, who explained that the church purposely set out to help a family from outside their church.
“We really wanted to completely blow away pre-conceived notions about the self-centeredness of the church,” says Pastor Dave. “We wanted God to get all the credit, and I think we accomplished that.”
Watch footage of the results:
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