World Changers ministry blesses Moberly residents

Published On July 30, 2007; By The Pathway »

World Changers ministry blesses Moberly residents

By Brian Koonce
Staff Writer

MOBERLY – It’s hot, it’s humid, and hauling shingles up onto a steep, crumbling roof doesn’t sound like any way to spend a lazy summer day. But for 168 students from around the country, they wouldn’t have it any other way.

These youth, including crews from First Baptist Church in Sedalia and Carpenter Street Baptist Church here in town, spent the week of July 4 to show God’s love through their actions. They’re part of World Changers, a construction ministry that this year alone will put thousands of students across the country to work at 90 different work sites including three in Missouri: Trenton, St. Louis and Moberly.

The students at this particular hub stayed at Central Christian College of the Bible. They represent churches from Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Wyoming and Mississippi. Divided into teams with students they may have never met before, they woke up each day by 6 a.m. and were hard at work long before the sun began to bake the work site.

The Moberly area, which has been a World Changers city for the last three years, is home to 15 projects this year, each with its own 10- to 12-member crew. In less than a week they’ll replace six roofs, install an ADA-regulation wheelchair ramp, fix and replace dozens of windows. Name a construction job and these supervised youth probably tackled it.

Cody Walker, a student from First Sedalia, took some ribbing from the Wyoming group about how “far” he traveled to get there, but once he hit the job site it was all business.

Walker and the rest of the crew worked building a wheelchair ramp for a homeowner who is suffering from multiple sclerosis. The ground in front of the house was too steep to install a ramp, so they decided to stretch around to the back of the house. The only problem was there wasn’t a door there. Not for long. Soon there was not only a newly framed door where a window used to be, but there was the foundation and beginnings of a 35-foot ramp with a 1-inch drop per foot, allowing the homeowner to easily get in and out of her home.

Walker said he knew he’d be working hard in the Missouri heat, but he wouldn’t be anywhere else.

“This is my third time here,” he said. “God was calling me to come back again. I love it.”

Devin Wadley, also a third-year veteran from Sedalia, worked in nearby Cairo tearing off a roof that was covered in five layers of asphalt shingles and cedar shingles under that. Most of her week consisted of ripping the wood off the roof, splinters and all. Still, she was all smiles.

“It’s fun and there’s great fellowship,” she said. “I think it’s important that I give back a little to God after He has given me so much.”

And the heat?

“It’s not that bad,” she said. “We’re just focusing on getting the roof done rather than how hot it is.”

John Davidson, the associational coordinator for World Changers, said that was the attitude of all the students here.

“It is an evangelism tool, and the students know it,” he said. “This is pure lifestyle evangelism.”

Out of a typical crew of 10 to 12, one is designated to share the Gospel with the homeowner or who should happen to stop by and wonder why a dozen 17-year-olds are swarming all over their neighbor’s roof.

“Our goal is that each crew will share the Gospel at least once each day,” Davidson said.

Even if the witnessing doesn’t net any salvations, World Changers sows a multitude of seeds. The missions project was featured at least four times in the local newspaper as well as on a Columbia TV news broadcast.

“We just want people to know that we love them like Jesus loves them,” Davidson said.

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The Pathway is published bi-weekly by the Missouri Baptist Convention and endeavors to cover not only the events that affect Baptists in Missouri but also the Southern Baptist Convention as a whole and evangelical Christians everywhere.
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