The project was first initiated when Ruby Lester
, a widow who lived on her
mountain property in McDowell County her
entire life, applied for home repair.The mission agreed to help her
out, but deemed her
small shack, outhouse and well beyond repair.Instead, they decided to build her
a new house.Incredibly, the county didn't even know how to process the building permit because it had been so long since anyone had built a house in the area.
We met Ruby
.It was a cautious start to a budding relationship that would see us eating, singing and praying with her
over the next four days as we worked on the interior of her
new house.Most of the time was spent insulating the basement, installing a cistern, backfilling around the house's foundation, framing in a shower, drywalling, trimming and base-coating the three main rooms in the house.By the time we completed our part of the project on Thursday, we felt close to Ruby
, and it was hard to say goodbye to the mountain widow who we believed genuinely cared for us.Each day at the project site was a growing experience.We learned that service and work were essentially worship to God - that swinging a hammer, mudding drywall and sweeping floors glorified the Lord as much as singing a hymn or a Psalter.It's our prayer that we while we worked on the interior of Ruby's house, the Lord worked on the interior of Ruby's heart, allowing us to be tools in His
We came back each night after the hour drive home exhausted, but each time, feeling more closely connected to the community we were serving.It felt like we actually lived in McDowell County, and the old clubhouse was often referred to as home.