Roy Hill, pastor of First Baptist Church, Satsuma, said what happened recently in a tiny backyard in Prichard is a great story but a really, really simple one. It took a few nails and shingles and a half-day’s work, and it ended with a new friendship.
But before that, it started with a phone call.
A few weeks ago, God guided a woman in Oklahoma to pick up the phone and call Mark Wakefield when she was basically out of options.
“She worked for a mortgage company and one of their clients was an elderly lady in Prichard whose roof was damaged and she couldn’t get it repaired,” said Wakefield, director of disaster relief and chaplaincy for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions. “She had exhausted all the possibilities.”
So after speaking with her, Wakefield called Hill to see if he had any suggestions for someone in the area with some experience in roofing who wouldn’t mind taking on the project. Hill didn’t have to look far.
“I’ve done some roofing, but I don’t tell many people that,” he said with a laugh. “We have done a lot of World Changers in the past with our students and I’ve always gotten to travel with them and we’ve done a lot of roofing.”
His son was a barn builder by trade and a couple of other gifted men also quickly stepped up to help. “They have huge servant hearts,” Hill said. Others also volunteered to help, but the backyard was so tiny they decided to keep the operation small.
‘We made a friend’
The lady, an 87-year-old Prichard resident, had an old roof that was sagging and needed some structural work. The men went out, took stock of the need, ordered supplies and came back a week later. They shored up the structure and built her a new roof.
“We feel like we made a friend,” Hill said. “She checked on us a lot, gave us a lot of hugs and was just really overwhelmed and blown away.”
And Wakefield said the woman from the mortgage company was overwhelmed too.
“She had gone above and beyond to find some help for this lady and she was thrilled to no end at how the church had been able to help,” he said.
But Hill said it wasn’t anything more than them just being who they were supposed to be.
“Our church’s battle cry is love like Jesus, serve like Jesus. We figured this was where we needed to be.”
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