By: James Pruitt
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
A local church is getting ready for another mission trip to help people who lost their homes during a massive tornado outbreak five years ago.
A team of 20 people from St. John’s Lutheran Church of Montpelier will be heading down to Birmingham, Alabama, in July to help build new homes or renovate homes damaged during the Super Outbreak of April 25-28, 2011 and other storms since then. The team will be working with the Next Step STORM (Severe Tragedy Outreach Relief Ministry) organization.
According to its web site Next Step STORM provides a base camp for volunteers, currently located in Birmingham, Alabama.
“We specialize in long term relief for those survivors of the STORM that are uninsured and underinsured. We also help folks who are weathering a storm of life. Volunteers helping to rebuild lives.”
To help raise money for the trip, the church will be hosting a BBQ Chicken dinner fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 9. The dinners cost $7.50 and are available on a carryout basis only. To guarantee a dinner, advance purchase is recommended.
Walk Ups will be served until the dinners run out the day of the event, Pastor Paul Gruetter said.
This will be the fourth year the church has sent a team to Next Step group site, Gruetter said. The team will be a mix of teens and adults ranging in age from 13 to 70, he said.
“It builds fellowship (among the team members),” Gruetter said. “They get to know other people.
“They get a sense that God is using us and God has a plan for the people we help. It inspires us to do things locally.”
The work will involve all aspects of home construction from roofing and drywall to painting and plumbing. Some people will get new homes, while others will have damaged homes rebuilt.
The church would welcome extra donations to help cover the cost of team members who can’t afford to pay for their trip and for supplies needed while the team is in Alabama such as plywood and plumbing.
To help out or for more information, call the church at 419-485-3736.
James Pruitt may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org