I got the wonderful privilege to serve with my wife Rory alongside several other volunteers as we helped build God’s Church.. we built a huge building as well. The process started a year or so ago as those in charge came together and were led to go to the Boston, Massachusetts area and assist a local congregation with their dreams to expand and build a new building for their members to meet in. With all the plans set, we came from 13 different states and met together the first week of June, 2018 to get things started. There are a lot of stories… a lot wonderful stories… way too many to really go into detail here, but suffice it to say that God sent His Spirit down to meet us there and we were all blessed and changed as a result.
The team is called the “Mobile Baptist Builders” and we come from all different walks of life and from all over the place. We are not trained builders or construction folks… but we can all help as a part of the team to get things done. We can hammer nails (and pull nails out when we put them in the wrong place), carry materials, keep the area clean and safe, cook, serve, and almost anything else you can imagine it takes to keep 130+ people going for a week.
We were there to frame a 19,000+sf building and to put on the sheathing on the outside. The building consists of a multi-purpose area for sports and other activities, a section for a kitchen with bathrooms, and a new sanctuary where all the members of the congregation can meet together. The walls on the sanctuary and the multi-purpose areas were 16 feet tall and were 2×8 construction with 12″ centers. That made for some very heavy lifting as we raised them all by hand. Every board had 4 nails hammered mostly by hand on both ends. The center section where the kitchen and foyer will be has 9 foot walls.
the local congregation
This was one of the most exciting parts of the trip to me… we were there to serve a Chinese congregation (actually three separate congregations representing Mandarin, Cantonese, and English speaking believers). We heard testimonies from several during the times we all shared together during breakfast and after dinner. And also because we stayed with a lot of them in their homes during the build, we got to know them personally. I am not sure there could have been a more diverse group of people meeting together to do His work than this… and that made it all the more wonderful. The stories we heard from them were similar and told of a group of first generation immigrants that came from a place where people were raised and trained to be atheists and to “worship” education and success. They were not allowed to make their own decisions about faith as they were very controlled and manipulated when they were growing up and were taught to follow the government and do what they said. However, the stories of being delivered from that and the freedoms they now embrace and celebrate are truly inspiring. All the people I heard from and met have a contagious joy and are truly thankful for the opportunities they have in the United States. If you would like to know more about them visit their website – lowell.church
You can also see several news articles featuring a lot of the Mobile Baptist Builders here
So what does this have to do with finances?
I will just put it like this… if God’s people are not in debt and are living within their means and have the financial ability (along with a willingness to serve), they can come together and do amazing things in His name and for His glory. All the volunteers on this trip paid their own way to come and give of themselves to further God’s kingdom. They paid for airline tickets and other travel costs… they took vacation time from work… they even gave above and beyond that.
Giving is one of the most fun things you can do. And if you are not under the thumb of creditors and have a good plan in place, you can give and be a huge blessing to others. And the funny thing is that you will actually be the one that ends up blessed… just like my wife and I were on this trip.
If you want to know more about the Mobile Baptist Builders, please check out their website here.