It’s time to repair the roof.

Entering people’s homes teaches you a lot about them. From treasured heirlooms and pictures of smiling family members to holes punched in walls and newspapers stuffed around doors, our homes reflect our best hopes and sometimes our worst struggles.

For the past three years, some of our most meaningful work with families on the White Mountain Apache reservation has started in their homes. During the first two years, Kingdom Workers coordinated local and visiting volunteers to provide labor for complete Apache home renovations.

Together with our partner, the Open Bible Lutheran Church (a WELS mission), we gained a reputation for caring deeply about the welfare of the elderly and disabled whose homes we had the privilege of renovating.

This year we stepped back and asked the community where we could do more. We realized that we were targeting only one family at a time, while over 300 homes are on a “waitlist” for renovation due to issues ranging from broken windows to water damage caused by leaky roofs and faulty plumbing.

We now have started providing locally accessible and easily understandable DIY workshops to help families repair their own homes. Gaining these home repair skills gives families a way to reclaim pride in their homes and another way to be resilient.

Community meetings at the Open Bible parish hall leading up to the formation of this project were well attended. The workshops, now in their fourth iteration, are a labor of love from local volunteers who are truly excited to use their skills to reach out with the love of Jesus for the physical good of their neighbors.

Skill building sessions on local Lutheran sites such as Open Bible Lutheran Church and the East Fork Mission show community members that they are welcome there anytime. Local church council members such as Ermon “Lollie” Stover present the gospel in a devotion before each workshop.

One attendee said, “Lollie was not ashamed of the gospel. The way he spoke up there brought joy to me, because I know where he came from.” What an incredible testimony to God’s power working on the hearts of our brothers and sisters on this small Apache reservation!

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