Spending five straight days nailing down shingles on a scorching hot roof, sleeping on a hard gym floor and paying $170 to do all of that is probably not the dream summer vacation.
But helping others in that way is what 10 people from the college and career Sunday School class at Dearing Baptist Church decided to do, and they all say they were blessed by the experience.
The group of 18-24 year olds traveled to Charleston, S.C. on July 17-23 to participate in a World Changers national construction project. World Changers is sponsored by the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and conducts over 100 such projects each summer.
"It's neat to watch how God works taking a large group of young people from all over - from Michigan to Florida to Mississippi - taking their commonality in Christ and helping folks who needed some things to happen but couldn't afford for them to happen," said DBC Minister of Youth and Music David Harbeson, a five-time participant in World Changers events.
The DBC group joined over 200 other college-age participants and their leaders in roofing, landscaping, worship and Bible study for the week. After being separated into work crews with names like "Goofus Roofers," and "Nail Heads," the participants got to meet new people, especially the owners of the homes they were repairing.
For Dearing resident and two-time World Changers participant Alicia Gheesling, the experience of helping others in need is something she won't forget.
"It's very exhilarating," she said. "It's one of those things that you really don't know what kind of effect this will have on people's lives until you get there and they tell you."
For Miss Gheesling's homeowner, the week made a huge difference. She was about to lose her home because the roof was in such bad shape that she couldn't get insurance coverage. One week, a few young people and a free roof later, her home was saved from foreclosure.
Many stories just like that come out of World Changers events. The group from DBC said they were glad to gain the experience in hands-on missions and give back some of what God has given them.
"It becomes a way that we can put real visible things to folks in the community that they can see Christ in our lives," Rev. Harbeson said.