Extreme Build: That's a Wrap!

It's finished! Time to celebrate!

Kentucky Baptist Fellowship Family,

Saturday, June 14, was a very special day! Work wrapped up on the house and around 11:30 am. Glen Meade of First Baptist Shepherdsville guided us to an end on the landscaping work, placing vibrant hastas and archangels around the house. Steve Holm ran around the house directing volunteers to finish last minute tasks like cleaning, placing window screens in the frames, and tossing out scraps of wood. The deck steps and the shed door were some of the last jobs finished, with work halting as KBF partner church Cornerstone Fellowship in Monticello prepared a cookout celebration.

We started off the cookout with giving a "stud award" to Ronnie Decker of Cornerstone. Though it has a funny name, the sentiment was sincere. Ronnie, while this was his first build, jumped into the deep end and tackling any task in front of him great and small, including leadership on the shed. Great work, Ronnie!

The night before at our last Extreme Build 2014 Volunteer Dinner, we had given out the following awards:

*The "Pop-It Award" for Steve Holm, volunteer foreman. He has a loud voice to start and end the work shifts, but we told him to save it and use these fireworks instead.

*Suzanne Lee of First Baptist, Middlesboro, who assigned volunteers jobs onsite and managed their work received a clip-board signifying her amazing leadership skills.

*It was Phil Martin's (of Buechel Park Baptist) birthday, so we gave him a celebratory gawdy, beaded necklace and sang to him.

*I was surprised at how many people David Meadors of Georgetown Baptist was related to (including our sign language interpreter), so we gave him a "Kinship Award". This is actually a baby gift for him to pass on to the next child born in their family!

*Don Rogers, pastor of Buechel Park Baptist, was burning rubber between his church and the build site. He conducted a wedding, a funeral, and a worship service and still managed to be present and highly effective for most of the build! We gave him the "Overachiever Award", which was a reusable beverage container to fill with copious amounts of iced tea and coffee to keep him charged up!

*Lynne Williams of Georgetown Baptist was given the "Kindness Award" (loads of happy face stickers) for her upbeat attitude and willingness to make others smile.

*Mack Snowden of Buechel Park Baptist was given the "Firecracker Award" for doing whatever jobs asked of him to get the house completed!

*Glen Meade gave my husband, Ryan Eller, and I a piece of cake to smoosh in each other's faces since it was our anniversary. By the end, icing was up my nose!

After a delicious lunch on Saturday, the dedication began at 1:00pm and was attended by local media, non-profit representatives, and volunteers. John Lepper, KBF Coordinator, introduced and thanked vital partners like the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation (KHIC) and USDA Rural Development.

I had the honor of introducing the home recipient, Kimberly Stephens, her sister Tabitha, and her sister's boyfriend Donnie. In addition, I presented Kimberly and Tabitha with bibles signed with messages of love by the volunteers, noting that the most important gift we can give each other is the love shown to us by God. Kimberly also received an American Sign Language DVD version of the bible.

Jan Causey presented to Kimberly, on behalf of Buechel Park Baptist, a gift certificate for window treatments along with a cross-stich lovingly made by a sewing circle at the church.

Ronnie Decker of Cornerstone Fellowship presented Kimberly with a framed message of peace and love on behalf of the church.

Then, Suzanne Lee and Andrea Ensor of First Baptist, Middlesboro, gifted a hand-painted mailbox to Kimberly signifying that this house is officially a home and ready to receive mail with her name on it!

Steve Holm of St. Matthews Baptist handed over the keys to the home before Tom Manning-Beavin, Director of Housing for KHIC, shared a devotion and lead us in prayer. The service closed with David Meadors of Georgetown Baptist directing us in several verses of "Amazing Grace".

Afterwards, volunteers and media took a tour of the house with Kimberly. She was so excited to see the colors she'd chosen on the wall, and surprised to see that volunteers had packed her refrigerator and pantry with food!

Smiles and tears of joy abounded as we said our goodbyes to the Kimberly's family and to one another. As this was my first build, I made so many new friends that I can't wait to see again!

As we resume our daily lives, let us not forget Quint Meek of Georgetown Baptist who took a misstep off the bottom rung of a ladder and broke his leg at the build site. His fellow church member and friend, Susan Meadors, reports that he will be laid up for several months with a knee replacement to follow. He has a long road ahead of him, so please remember him in your prayers!

The Extreme Build family of volunteers is truly a community of selfless folks who long to be the hands and feet of Christ in a real and tangible way. I'm so thankful to have joined them on this ninth build!

Remember to check our our website for even more photos of the build (plus candids of your friends and family)! Be sure to submit any of fellow church members to your church newsletter editor so their good work can be recognized!

Thanks for following along on this incredible journey!

Laura Barclay
KBF Communications, Networking & Interim Missions Associate