Doug Creamer column: Serving others

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 7, 2022

By Doug Creamer

I am enjoying working in the Adult Basic Education program at the community college. We have a great group of students. My colleagues are big-hearted teachers who work hard to encourage, challenge, and motivate our students to achieve success. My supervisor works hard to create a team atmosphere and to provide support for our students.

My supervisor set up a great activity for us to build unity and to give back to our community. She connected with Habitat for Humanity and signed us up to volunteer. Last Friday morning a group of teachers and students showed up to work. The location had three houses in various stages of development. We were given several options on what to do.

The project manager is a great guy and was so thankful for our help. One of the houses was ready for some light sanding and painting, and that seemed to be our best option. Several from our group climbed some scaffolding to sand and paint the peak of the house. Others worked on the other side of the house, painting the side and trim. I was in a group that painted the storage shed for the house.

The storage shed was a nice size, good for a lawnmower and some outside tools. The sides were already painted. We painted the trim. I started by taping off the trim. It’s not hard and it saves a lot of time and keeps the trim paint off the sides. One of my students was working with me and she was painting almost as quickly as I got things taped off.

Once everything was taped off I picked up a brush and started to paint. I painted all the high places that required a ladder. As soon as we finished the first coat of paint we started working on the second coat. I didn’t think we would finish the whole storage building with two coats, but we did. We pulled the tape off and it looked great…very rewarding and satisfying.

The people working on the house got their parts finished, too. The project supervisor was pleased with our progress. He had another group of high school boys working that morning. Those younger, stronger guys were working on laying the subflooring on a different house.

The Habitat project supervisor told me that there haven’t been as many groups volunteering since COVID hit. There is still plenty of work that needs to be done. Many church and civic groups have volunteered in the past, and he needs people to step up and help again. The need for housing has increased in recent years.

Habitat for Humanity’s mission is seeking to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. They envision a world where everyone has a decent place to live. President Jimmy Carter has worked with Habitat for many years since he left office. The project supervisor I worked with on Friday has a heart to help people find a home where they can raise their families.

Jesus teaches us by his own example that we should serve one another. Jesus said that he came to serve, not to be served. There are so many ways and opportunities for us to serve people. I think that Jesus not only wants, but I think he expects us to step up and serve others. It is a way of showing the love of God to the lost. People will know that we are Christians by our love and by our good deeds.

It’s also important to help our fellow church members. There are probably people in your church who need a helping hand. It could be something as simple as helping with a household chore, or it could be something big like building a ramp so they can get in and out of their house. For members who are shut in, serving them might be as simple as stopping by for a visit.

We can all do something, and I want to encourage you to find ways that you can help and serve others. Every church I know needs help in the nursery and children’s department. Your warm smile as a greeter could help to make someone’s day. Helping serve the less fortunate through Habitat for Humanity could be the right place for you. My pastor always tells us that God is looking for those who will serve. Look for your opportunity and jump in. The people you serve will appreciate your time and effort, and God will certainly notice you, too.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or doug@dougcreamer.com.

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