Some families can’t wait to go to the family cabin for the summer, or that favorite beach, the spots they’ve seen and enjoyed so much that they’ve become part of family tradition and lore.
While the three Donaldson sisters certainly may have those types of hideaways on their vacation list, foremost on their mind last week was another family tradition: Build a church through Builders for Christ.
To them, building that church is a summer tradition, one they’ve shared and looked forward to since they were children.
Rebecca, 28, and married with a last name of Rhea, is the veteran of the three with six years of work through Builders. The build to the new Layton Avenue Baptist Church was the first trip for Rachel Donaldson, 18, and sister, Mary Katherine Donaldson, 16. All three call Birmingham, Ala., home.
The two youngest sisters said they looked forward to stepping into the family tradition, noting their father and other family members have paved the way through previous Builders trips.
“This is the first time, and I really wanted to know what the experience would be like,” said Mary Katherine. “We have had three siblings who have done this, and they all started about our age.”
So, what did the two teens think of their first time working on a church?
“It’s exciting,” said Mary Katherine. “You see how excited people from Layton Avenue get when you put up a wall. We do, too – all that hard work is paying off.”
Rachel says she learned a few new skills this week. “I have learned how to shoot a couple nail guns and how to build a wall. I think I could even tell someone how to put it together.”
The eldest sister, Rebecca, says her six years of work has taught her the impact of this mission work.
“I love helping the body of Christ. We are able to help a church that might not otherwise be able to afford a new building obtain a brand new building through volunteer labor. It’s pretty neat to see.
“You also see that it allows churches to grow – without that new building, they might not otherwise be able to grow like they want to. It brings in new members, newly baptized Christians and grows the body of Christ.”
Mary Katherine points out that seven made the trip this year – the three sisters, their father, Rebecca’s husband, father-in-law and mother-in-law.
Rachel and Mary Katherine said many teens their age aren’t involved in a building ministry and may not even know of it. By being engaged, and talking to their friends and other youth, the two hope to spread the word about the impact this ministry can have on a church and for Christians.
“Maybe if we do it, other youth will see it and realize they can do this, too,” says Rachel.