Dear Builders For Christ
Introduction by Jeff Ulman
Our programs are possible thanks to our volunteers. When someone gives up their time to serve, it impacts people and changes lives. It creates opportunities to share the gospel and connects communities to Jesus.
Builders For Christ is our longest-running program at Kingdom Workers. I am always impressed by the dedication, selflessness, and passion these volunteers have for doing the work of God’s kingdom here on earth. Earlier this year, we received the following letter from one such volunteer. Michael’s joy in serving and gratitude to fellow volunteers is so evident, so we decided to share his letter with you in full.
So, as Michael says—thank you. Thank you to all of our construction volunteers in Builders For Christ, Build Up, and the DIY workshops on the Apache reservation, and everyone who serves so that we can tell people about their Savior.
Jeff Ulman, Director of Kingdom Workers Construction.
A letter by Michael Benrud
Approximately 25 years ago, my wife Carol and I had our first opportunity to attend Beautiful Savior Lutheran in Fayetteville, North Carolina. This past March, we had the privilege of joining a crew of a dozen Builders For Christ volunteers. Everyone we met was excited to be helping our congregation build a new worship center to reach more people.
Onsite volunteers were overseen by a very skilled Project Manager, Elwood Heldt. He said that this was approximately his 22nd project with Builders For Christ. And it was also probably one of his longest projects.
Work began in February 2020, but because of COVID-19, most of the group were asked to go home. Building then resumed in September for a short while, and again in February 2021.
By the time Carol and I arrived in March of this year, they were finally in the finishing stages. We don’t have any building skills, but there was plenty of painting, varnishing, window cleaning, and assorted tasks for us to work on. Most of those who were volunteering alongside us were retired and also had little to no background in construction. In fact, the group we worked with included farmers, business executives, a dental hygienist, school teacher, and two high-level engineers.
Elwood began the day at 7:30AM with a devotion and assignments of work projects. After a productive morning with a midmorning break, a superb noon meal furnished by church members was enjoyed by all. After their evening meal, there was campfire fellowship and card games, or just rest. We never heard a negative word or any discussion of unhappiness. The joy of doing God’s work helps make for a happy heart!
Michael Benrud with his wife, Carol.
Under Elwood’s direction and sharp eye for detail, the finished project was perfect. The savings are obviously huge, and as stated by Pastor Glende, “Without Builders For Christ, the cost would have been too high for our congregation. The time and talents of Builders For Christ volunteers and the support of so many others made the project possible.” And we are so thankful to everyone who was able to help.
When I asked Elwood what were the greatest obstacles for the BFC volunteers he stated, “We are limited regarding the number of projects we can undertake because of a need for more volunteers.”
It is apparent that more volunteers are needed for the many opportunities that arise through this program. If you have any interest in being a volunteer, I would highly encourage you to do so. Not only is it an enjoyable experience to volunteer, but you also get to meet so many wonderful people and help churches reach more lives with the message of the gospel.
If Builders For Christ isn’t a good fit for you, Kingdom Workers also has a newer youth mentoring program. The Build Up: Mentoring Teens in Trades program connects young people to adults with a background and understanding of construction. Volunteers teach apprentices building skills and serve as role models while they teach them about Jesus their Savior, through words and actions. However you can serve, I know it will be a blessing.
“From him the whole body, being joined and held together by every sup- porting ligament, grows in accordance with Christ’s activity when he measures each individual part. He causes the growth of the body so that it builds up in love.” (Ephesians 4:16)
Serving in Love,
Michael and Carol Benrud