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Having a positive impact on 10 homes

Hundreds of volunteers made repairs to area houses last week through “Impact Virginia,” a Baptist mission.  Above, crews put a new roof on the Daniel home in Urbanna, which they also painted. (Photo by Larry S. Chowning)

by Tom Chillemi

Ten area houses are in much better shape this week after a crew of more than 200 persons with “Impact Virginia” performed much-needed repairs.

Teens and crew leaders from different areas of Virginia completed six projects in Middlesex, two in Mathews and two in King and Queen, said Dr. Robert May, director of the Mid-Tidewater Baptist Association, which is based in Saluda. Projects ranged from building a handicapped ramp and new roofs, to new windows and repaired floors.

The teens each paid $276 to be part of the mission and provide free labor for much-needed repairs. The teens took home a sense of accomplishment, the reward of knowing they made a difference, and the heartfelt thanks of homeowners. “I appreciate the job they are doing,” said Urbanna resident Alvin Daniel as they worked on his roof.

Samantha Robinson of Mt. Ararat Baptist Church in Stafford has felt a calling to do mission work. “I want to travel the world doing this,” said Robinson, who was on her second mission repairing houses through Impact Virginia. She said it’s rewarding work and she enjoys the camaraderie with her fellow workers. “We build each other up. This is all for God. . . . He’s using us so His light can shine through us to the community and the homeowners.”

Tyler Layburn has been on four Impact Virginia missions. In 2011 he was among the crew that went to Bluefield and built steps for a woman who had been using stone slabs to get up a hill to her home, and had fallen and broken a leg. “It’s rewarding to know you helped someone out in life and that you made a life-changing difference,” he said.

This was the third mission for Laken Cizdziel of Mt. Ararat Baptist Church. As an adult chaperone she and her husband helped lead the workers, she said.

Part of the satisfaction is seeing what the crews accomplish, Cizdziel added. From the mission she has “learned to work as part of a group, and how to motivate, encourage and lead by example.”

This program has taken place locally for three of the past four years, said Dr. May. Funds for the materials were donated by 25 churches of the Mid-Tidewater Baptist Association, individuals, and the Virginia Baptist Foundation in Richmond, he said.

posted 08.01.2012

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