This is parts two and three of a three-part series on the first-timers (well, some are and some are … sort of) to a Builders for Christ trip. I tried to blend a little of the old and new with this series – old-style series stories, but short enough to fit online reading. My deepest apologies to the gals of Groton – I thought I would be able to return and capture their photos after the interviews, but my regular work schedule got in the way and I was unable to do so.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy …
Retired accountant Susan Spencer says she’s participated in missionary work for several years. After retiring and moving to Connecticut, she and her husband sought a new missionary effort.
That effort became Builders for Christ. Her husband was first involved with the group and encouraged Susan to participate, as well. She’s been doing this for three years now.
“I think it’s amazing the leadership and vision of Builders For Christ, which can take many of us who are unskilled in many of the tasks needed here … and give us the direction to help us to accomplish great things,” says Susan.
Susan said a trip highlight has been seeing the enthusiasm members of Layton Avenue Baptist Church have for the coming new church. “We worship with them on Sunday. It’s great to meet them, feel their excitement as they look forward to the new church – it’s awesome watching the glow on everyone’s faces,” she says.
Belinda Donovan says her first year of participating in the Builders for Christ effort was all about timing – her’s and the Lord’s.
So, what were Belinda’s thoughts after participating for a few days?
“It’s a community of Christians coming together — it’s a very comfortable place,” she says. “You have a very nice, wonderful feeling as you come together to build a church, with people you know are filled with God’s grace.”
The mother of nine says she was “beat” the first day, a little tired the second day and by the third day, she’s fine. “I’m a military wife, so I don’t give up,” she says.
Like others who have participated, Belinda says she has grown as a Christian. “It encourages me. Being used by God for His purpose – that is something wonderful.”
Belinda says the work and impact the Lord has on His people through Builders should be told to younger generations.
“When the Israelites were led, they saw God, they saw the pillar, they saw the cloud, they knew it was there – but they forgot to pass it on and, so, something was lost.
“With something like this, you are working, you are physically doing it, you see it happening, and you bring your other family members in later on, and they see it … God says pass it on to other generations.”
This BFC trip is the first for Kimberly Anderson.
The piping detail planner for submarines has a serving heart and decided to serve in this building mission effort at the urging of her boyfriend.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s been great,” says Kimberly. “This is well orchestrated. There is something here for everyone — you can use whatever skills you have, no matter your skill level.”
In addition to serving the Lord, Kimberly says she wanted to gain fellowship with other Christians. “I am a new Christian, and I was seeking to connect with the people of my church,” she said. “I have learned a lot about them.”
She says she’s also grown as a Christian.
“To be able to build for God is a humbling experience.”
MaryAnn Babcock says she’s doing tasks on this trip that she’s never done before.
“I am so tiny, but I saw the work and said ‘hey, I am tough, I can do a big man’s job,’” she says. “I am doing things I have never done before.”
The first-year participant says she’s long prayed for a ministry that would fit the talents of her husband, a carpenter. Those prayers were answered five years ago when he became part of the Builders crew. She says God’s timing helped to bring her into the fold, too.
“I am blown away by the answer for prayer,” MaryAnn says. “Praying for something so many years ago, and God already knew that there would be answer to that more than 20 years later. It gives me chills because it is so real.”
MaryAnn says her work through Builders is special to her because she knows that it is also where she should be.
“You know God has a dynamite plan when you are where He wants you to be,” she says. “I am at peace and joy this week because I know I am where I am supposed to be.”