Fifteen persons from six different churches in the Three Rivers District of the East Ohio Conference took a mission trip with Partners-In-Ministry (Laurinburg, NC). We stayed in the Fisher House with the Trinity UMC in Fairmont. The house we worked on was in St Pauls, NC. I thought you might be interested in our article about the trip. This article appeared in the District Newsletter with a picture of our group and the family of the house on which we worked.
Our team calls me the “Spiritual Director” of our mission trips. Of course, I do other work on our mission trips as well.
Dairel Kaiser, Pastor
Keene United Methodist Church
Three Rivers District
East Ohio Conference.
Three Rivers District – VIM
The thirteenth work mission trip of the Three Rivers District VIM Team of the East Ohio Conference ventured to the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church from February 28 to March 4, 2016. Fifteen volunteers (seven women and eight men) represented six congregations.
The team worked on a house that had ceiling damage in six of the seven rooms in part because of a roof that had been leaking for over twenty years. The whole roof needed replaced as did the porch roof and ceiling. Floor joists in the bathroom needed repair as well as the floor and a wall needed adjusting. There was much drywall work to be done and then painting. Almost all the electrical switches needed repaired and some light fixtures too.
726 actual volunteer work hours were performed on this house. The volunteer work hours did not include the travel time to and from the work site which took about 40 minutes each way. Each volunteer averaged 9.7 hours of work each day.
Each volunteer paid $150.00 fee for this mission trip plus they covered their own travel expenses. The vehicles pulling the District trailers were offered reimbursement for gasoline. The food and supplies cost for this trip was $1,020.00 which included one night out to a local restaurant with our client family. Food and supplies cost keep increasing.
Partners-In-Ministry (Laurinburg, NC) is the organization in North Carolina with whom we partnered. They allocate a maximum of $8,000.00 per house specifically for needed structural and safety repairs. Considering the cost of the roofing shingles, sheeting with nails, replacing rotted floor joists and new plywood sheeting, drywall, compound, nails and screws, stretched the budget. The cost of a few of the repairs was picked up by the Three Rivers District. All the personal touches that were added to the house came from donations from the team and some extra funds sent with the team for situations like this.
Our clients who are now friends greeted us each day with a Christian hug and kiss. Relationships have grown together that will last a long time, especially now with the ease of electronic devices.
Robeson County, the county of our work site, is the poorest county in the country. 68% of the county is made up of 1) American Indian (Lumbee Tribe), 2) African American, and 3) Hispanic. This area is covered by the Gateway District of the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church.