Mission group is on the road again

by Sue Serdinak

The mission group of the Richfield United Church of Christ is back in action after taking a break for COVID-19.

Ten people traveled to Dayton to help build new homes and repair homes damaged by a tornado that struck in 2019. The United Church of Christ Disaster Relief and Pathways to Ownership Project sponsored the project.

The group installed, mudded and sanded drywall; installed subflooring, doors and locks; hung insulation and prepped vinyl siding. The work was partially funded with $600 raised at the Richfield Community Garage Sale garage sales and donations by church members. The volunteers also brought tools to supplement what was provided to them.

The group went to Dayton well prepared with knowledge and tools. They gathered a lot of experience during previous mission trips and working on senior apartments owned by the church and rented to seniors who find it difficult to maintain a home on their own.

In Dayton they worked on three houses. Similar to projects sponsored by Habitat for Humanity, families will eventually own the homes.

Betty Vandermeer and her husband, Pieter, have been involved with the mission group for about 20 years. She organized this trip with the help of the church’s interim pastor, Allan Lane.

This close-knit group has shared much over the years. “We laugh, we cry, we watch out for each other, but most importantly, we leave the site with our hearts full,” Vandermeer said.

She revealed stories of distressed homeowners who have heartbreaking stories that show great strength and faith in a higher being. “We are so blessed to be a part of that and touch others through our gifts of time and talents,” Vandermeer said. “It is always a welcome feeling to return home to a firm foundation of home, church and friends.” ∞