Bridging the Gap Between Service and Faith
In the spring of 2021, Jeff Ulman, Director of Build Up, and his team of students from Kingdom Prep Lutheran High School embarked on a project that would not only repair a porch but also impact hearts.
Ragini's* house sits a mile or so from the campus and a few doors down from Kevin Festerling, the principal at Kingdom Prep. How Kevin met Ragini could only be called divine intervention. Kevin was praying in his backyard, asking for new opportunities to share the gospel when Ragini walked in, seeking help with her home repairs. At that moment, Kevin knew that he had found the perfect opportunity for his students to help their neighbor and spread the word of God with the help of Kingdom Workers' Build Up program.
What followed was a year and a half of hard work, dedication, and compassion. The Kingdom Prep students did not just repair Ragini's porch, which hadn't been touched since she's been widowed, but they also fixed her gutters, repaired the fascias and soffits, investigated and fixed roof leaks, and even trimmed the trees in her yard. They also took the time to update her home's electrical system, sharing their practical skills and knowledge with her.
In building up a new generation of disciples, students not only learn practical skills but also are mentored and encouraged to live out their faith by showing love and compassion to their neighbors.
But it was not just about fixing Ragini's home, it was about building a relationship with her, one that transcended cultural and religious differences. Ragini, a devout Hindu, began to listen to the students' devotions, joined them for meals, and even asked them questions about their faith. Over the course of the year and a half that the Kingdom Prep students worked on Ragini’s house, they not only learned practical and useful construction skills, but also learned how to talk about Jesus, be a witness with their words and actions, and show love to their neighbor. It would have been easy to avoid praying in front of Ragini, but the students and volunteers were bold in their faith. She was invited to join them for lunch, and she listened while they prayed.
“Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.”
Through their hard work and their unwavering commitment to their faith, the Kingdom Prep students showed Ragini what it truly means to be a Christian. They didn't just talk the talk, they walked the walk, demonstrating their faith through their actions and their words. And to everyone's surprise, Ragini encouraged them never to be afraid to speak about their faith.
As seen in their efforts to help Ragini, these students are being equipped to become true disciples who make a positive impact on the world around them.
We thank God for this chance to witness to our neighbors, teach the students at Kingdom Prep how to help those in their community, and how to practice their faith openly and with conviction. And we pray for Ragini, that the Holy Spirit will work faith in her heart. What started as a simple
conversation in a neighbor’s backyard turned into an opportunity to share the gospel and show the neighborhood what faith in action looks like.