June 8th, 9th, and 10th we as a church embarked on a new form of volunteer involvement targeted toward doing specific tasks to help in maintaining the building that is so heavily used. We created a large list of items that needed attention and would be achievable with somewhat skilled and/or passionate volunteer help. Saturday seems to be the most likely day, but we never had great turnout in the past. So, we decided to span three days and one evening of available time for people to help. The idea was to give as many opportunities as possible—hopefully avoiding schedule conflicts. We also knew daytime help would be limited, but were willing to give it a try.

The main areas we set out to address were some cleaning of closets, maintenance in the kitchen, bathrooms, and general use areas. Some things were as simple as tightening the knobs on the kitchen cabinets and picking debris off the flat roof. Within the longer list of projects was also a large list of rooms and walls that needed some fresh patching and painting. Most, if not all of the walls at Rush were painted during Project Renewal, nearly 4 years ago. Yet, with a gym that is so heavily used for multiple purposes we wanted to try to paint the most noticeable areas we could.

So the days were set and the list was made and all we needed were the right people for the jobs. God provided the most perfect group, even with the slow start to volunteers signing up, and after showing Pastor Cam’s amazing skills. We had a small number of people who wanted “skilled” work, but we had just enough to make painting as one of the priorities. When planning these work days one will never know who hears about it and will actually want to take part, which I find very interesting and the result is me meeting new people that I would probably not get a chance to meet on a regular Sunday.

June 7th. Here we go! Wait, this is a day before the official day?! I told you God provides people. Mr. Doug Velting himself wanted to make sure we were ready for paint and came a day early to patch walls so we could be as productive as possible.

June 8th, surprised again! The scheduled people, Doug, Addison Rhoton, Rod Knoerr, Jon Haveman, Jeremy Cook, Don Freehafer all came. And a welcome surprise—Kirk Velting. Gym painting and Parkside corner were on their way to new paint. Don helped Mike Devries in some cleaning which I will address in a bit. There is more, not just painting happened. We were blessed with Jeremy, who is a carpet installer and wanted to help with replacing some damaged carpet squares, but to my surprise he wasn’t alone. John Lok, a retired carpet installer and newer to our church, showed up at the exact same time. It was amazing. So we got carpet repaired and painted all on the first day– we could have stopped there. First day success.

June 9th, Addison had so much fun the day before she dragged her brother Blake, along which may or may not have been helpful but it was awesome to see. Kirk came back for a second round and so did Doug. Mid-morning Derrick Kroodsma shows up, not too interested in painting, no problem, he took Blake and replaced water damaged ceiling tiles. Something I did not see happening. We also were surprised by Laura Darter, a BSF(Bible Study Fellowship) leader who saw the work day ad and wanted to volunteer in helping the church that she is at almost four times a week with her kids.

Thursday we also had an evening session for people to participate in, if the morning times would not work for them. We finished the Parkside Corner painting and Rey Hernandez, who has been attending Rush for only the last month, came out and finished the gym and all the door frames in the gym. That night we were also blessed with Jim VanderGiessen who took care of all the loose knobs and hinges in the kitchen.

While all the painting was happening on June 9th Mike and Marti Devries and their crew of Ken and Mary Wierenga and Lisa Blowers did some deep cleaning of all the toys that our little children use, they also took on some much needed deep room and bathroom cleaning. We also had a lovely group of ladies (including Linda Siler, Sue Stoepker, Bridgette Leyendecker, Kary Draheim, Bonnie Hunt, Gerda Veldhuizen, Jill Bacon, and JayneAnn Stratmeyer) deep cleaning other children’s areas. Josh Stratmeyer also jumped in that day to tackle some projects.

June 10th started out as a not so desirable day to work on the church we had one volunteer sign up. Kendall Thompson. And we were so thankful, yet with all the painting done, and all the cleaning done, when Kendall arrived he was able join the weekly men’s breakfast. So with the work days done early we were able to be a blessing to a family in the community and hosted a celebration of life service in our church for several hundred individuals.

All this to say God is amazing. We are so blessed to have such an amazing facility and amazing people in our church and community that want to help in the not so fancy and fun ways. It takes a community to do the amount of ministry we do, and I am always in awe when God’s hand is seen even in what feels like even the insignificant tasks. In total we spent less than $700 and we painted the Gym and Parkside corner room in less than 2 days. This is God’s hand working for his Glory.