Jim and Amy helped with a local missions project. Our recently deceased church couple, Lester and Maryann Russell, kept their neighbor on our minds. Ida Kraft had tarps on her roof. One person who drove by during the construction project commented that he thought this was an abandoned house. He did not know anyone lived there. Ida is 93 and lived in tough conditions. Abby Lightle and the Anna/Botkins United Methodist youth decided do a local missions project.
Ida’s house was selected, materials were secured, volunteers were scheduled, paperwork was filled out, food was coordinated onsite for each lunch and dinners alternated between churches. The weather cooperated although the temperatures were very hot. A bathroom was redone, the roof was replaced, the back outside wall of the garage was repaired. The exterior of the house and garage were painted. Plants were trimmed. The front porch was repaired. The ramp that was built for Maryann last year was moved across to street to her front yard.
Maryanne’s daughter, Jody Underwood, gave her a wheelchair. She is excited that she may be able to go in the grocery store now instead of wait in the car when her neighbor Larry takes her to the store. Ida described being given the tour around the outside of her house in the wheelchair.Years ago Amy and I were at Ida’s house during our annual Christmas caroling event. We sang with Jana Pulfer and others. Little did we know that we would be back at the house for this big project.
Attempting to described the coordination behind the scenes to improve this house will take dozens of us. Sunday during church service at both churches a video was shown of the workers and the progress on the property. People stood up to speak about their connection to the Love One More Methodist project. We found out that groups of volunteers walked around Anna to pray and walked around Botkins to pray also. Tears flowed as the speakers shared and the songs were enjoyed. We stopped by Ida’s house to record her thank you video that we shared at the lunch Randy and Jill Boyd put together after church at their house. As we spoke with her on Sunday, we found out she grew up in a United Brethren church in Hancock County. She and her husband, Fred, were married in a United Methodist Church in Fostoria, Ohio. Everyone at lunch was tickled to hear that news. We never asked her as she and her house were selected to have work done, she just happened to also have United Methodist affiliations.