‘Angels’ Descend on Ridgeway for ‘Aimwell Action Week’

The anonymous ‘angels’ in Ridgeway.

There are angels all around us. You know who they are. We see them everywhere, doing God’s work, helping those less fortunate, seeing where there is a need and doing something about it without fanfare or praise of any kind. Hearing of such a group, I went to where they were working to talk to them and find out what makes some folks give of themselves and their time in this way.

The week’s activity was called “Aimwell Action Week.” This particular group of volunteers was made up of church members from the Aimwell Presbyterian Church, Bethlehem Baptist Church, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and the Lebanon Presbyterian church, all in Ridgeway. These are some of the oldest churches in the area. Aimwell was established in 1790, Lebanon in 1875 and St. Stephen’s was built of wood in 1854, covered with brick veneer in 1920 and added a wing in the 1940s. The Lebanon Church was organized in 1872. The folks were from all walks of life and different ages. There were Deacons and Elders from the different churches, consultants, students and a master gardener, to name just a few. Teens were working alongside seniors, everyone having a certain job. The day’s repairs went like clockwork, well thought out and planned.

The home of a family in Ridgeway was in dire need of repairs. This group of church people heard of the need by word-of-mouth and, using donated supplies, as well as their own money and that of other church members, worked for three days on the home. They repaired windows, fixed structural damage, replaced siding, painted, fixed gutters and sewer lines, plumbing and waste drainage. Yard work was also done – raking, planting of plants taken from their own gardens, the removal of trees and trimming, and an unused pile of bricks on the property became a decorative walkway at the front of the house.

You might notice that there are no names under the picture, identifying the workers. That was one of the conditions of my being allowed to photograph them. They all feel that what they do is the Lord’s work and they are only the instruments and that all the glory belongs to Him. This is a hard working but humble group that enjoys what they do, but does not feel they should get any recognition for the work.

One of the men said, “The best aspect of the project was the opportunity to work and fellowship together as members of multiple community churches to meet the needs of a local family.”

Not all the workers were around continually and so those in the picture represent a small number of those who participated. The homeowners also wished to remain anonymous but were very thankful for the work being done for them.

The workers stopped for lunch each day under a tent erected at the site where they discussed what was to be done next and have fellowship and prayers. The lunch was prepared by church members and in the evenings they met back at the church with the pastor for devotions.

I would like to think that by reading about this project, it would be an incentive to other churches in the area to do God’s work in this way. Not everyone can do the physical labor, but can help in other ways: Planning, transportation, running errands for supplies or preparation of food. This is similar to the work done by Habitat for Humanity and the work of the Salkehatchie youths and adults who worked in Fairfield County recently, but on a much smaller, local scale. As Patrick Henry said, “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

God bless this group and others like them.

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