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06-23-2014


Kentucky and Florida Churches join UC’s Mountain Outreach in home building project

 


Williamsburg, KY- University of the Cumberlands’ (UC) Mountain Outreach (MO) received the labor and support of two church groups from June 15-20, as they assisted with the summer home project on Long Bottom Road in the Canada Town community in Williamsburg.

Five members of Celebration Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida and one member of Coral Hill Baptist Church in Glasgow, Kentucky teamed up to tackle the ongoing project to build a home for MO home recipients, Terry “Joe” and Lisa Rhoades. Both churches are familiar with UC’s MO program and have developed strong, devoted relationships with the mission work in the Williamsburg area.

 


“This is my first time working with Mountain Outreach and I must admit that I love this,” said Celebration Baptist Church member and volunteer, Troy Berry. “It is great seeing these younger adults become so involved in missions. Meeting the family who gets the home really impacted me and my crew. Seeing someone get so excited over something as simple as a front door really makes you think and be grateful for what you have.”

The Rhoades family applied for the new home back in the fall and once the MO team read their application and learned of their struggles, they knew they wanted to help them. The Rhoades have three kids and a lot of love from surrounding family. The new home is being built next to the kids’ grandmother and walking distant from an aunt. Their home that once sat on the property burnt down and they have been renting a place they can barely afford.

“It is hard starting over from nothing,” said Joe Rhoades. “These people here today came all the way from Florida and Western Kentucky to build a home for me and my family. We are total strangers yet they want to spend their free time doing hard labor in the hot sun for me? I feel so blessed. We have had it so tough that there were times when it was hard to believe God really loved us. Now, He has made a way, blessed us, and is showing His love and grace through these volunteers and MO.”

The Mountain Outreach team and the six volunteers worked long hours in the hot sun and never once complained. Rhoades worked alongside the team, admitting he was not too familiar with that type of work. The home should be ready to occupy by mid-August but already looks promising and allows the family a realistic glimpse of what the finished product will look like. Rhoades said that he and his wife have always dreamed of having a new home but never thought it would ever be possible. He told members of the MO crew that they were particularly excited about the open kitchen and living room area and the wrap around porch that provides them with beautiful scenery of Long Bottom.

Coral Hill Baptist Church Pastor Jerry Thomas and MO volunteer spoke to Rhoades when he heard he was shocked by the outpour of love. “Joe, we are all brothers and sisters in the Lord; we have to be there for each other during the good times and the bad. You were in need so as your brothers, we didn’t hesitate to pack our things to head your way.”

Pastor Thomas is no stranger to Mountain Outreach and feels constantly blessed by the work he sees MO and MO Director, Marc Hensley do each summer and throughout the year. Thomas was the only volunteer that hailed from this Glasgow area this past week but he said that he felt compelled to come and he was going to make the trip regardless if he had others come with him or not. He was burning up and his shirt drenched from perspiration but he continued to work and smile the entire time. He brought so much joy to the crew and the work site at Long Bottom.

“There have been some great people out here working this week,” said Berry. “I definitely want to make plans to return next summer to work with MO. It is hard work but every bit of it is worth it. It just makes you feel good to help others.”

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees more than 40 major fields of study; ten pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information, visit www.ucumberlands.edu.