“The Cedar Street Church of Christ in Christian Union in New Boston had gone on six or seven mission trips,” Cooper said. “We went to Hondouras. We went to Bolivia. To St. Croix and built a church down there. We went to the Southwest American Indians hills in Phoenix. And we decided that this year we would stay home. We thought that maybe, instead of wasting our money on air fare, that we would spend the money here on projects.”
Cooper said the church, pastored by Gary Heimbach, went to New Boston Mayor Jim Warren and asked if he knew of anyone in need of help, and Warren gave them some names and addresses.
“So we’re doing this project here on Stanton Avenue. We’re doing one over on Rhodes Avenue. And one of the ladies of our church needed a porch in South Webster,” Cooper said.
Heimbach said a crew was also at work in Millbrook Park which Cooper said included painting buildings.
Cooper said several of the women were busy preparing three meals a day for the workers involved in the projects.
“We are just trying to do something here to help people. So that’s what we are involved in — what we’re doing,” Cooper said.
Cooper shared the story about a man who lives in his kitchen with his only window covered by a board, who cried when he found out the church would install a new window in place of the board so the man can see outside.
“That’s not in some Third World country. That’s not off in Hondouras or Bolivia. That’s right here at home,” Cooper said as tears filled his eyes. “I don’t know about you, but that gives me goosebumps.”
Cooper was asked why the church was involved in the various projects in the community.
“Just because we think we need to do something for home,” Cooper said. “That’s the reason. Because we love God, and we want to love people and show them that we love them.”
Warren sat on a load of lumber in the back of a pickup truck admiring the work by the volunteers.
“I’m so proud to see that we have groups in our area that do have a concern for our own people,” the mayor said. “They’ve looked overseas, and now it’s time we look home for people who are economically depressed over here also.”
Warren said there is a natural progression from faith to work projects that benefit the community.
“I think when we put our faith where it belongs, I think we find the direction that we need to go,” Warren said. “And I think that’s one thing that they have done. They have followed their hearts and the word of God in order to get where they are right now.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232.