By Tim Peace

In late February of this year, massive flooding wreaked havoc upon Jackson, Kentucky, including our ministry partner,  Happy Church. According to Tim Pride, Campus Manager here at Mount Carmel Christian Church, eight out of ten Happy Church structures were devastatingly damaged.

Additions our team had previously made to their gymnasium were left in utter ruin. The thrift shop, which allows Happy Church to give to community residents in need, was also left in disarray.

So, when Tim Pride and his team prayerfully considered where our annual work trip would take us this year, the answer was obvious.

However, the damage that was done by flooding would make this year’s trip a complex one.

Tim and his crew went on a scouting trip (from Thursday, April 22, 2021, through Sunday, April 25, 2021) that was more than a simple look-see. They went to get to work, repairing what could be fixed now and paving the way for our summer visit, which will occur July 17-24, 2021.

Our crew of twelve guys went down and tirelessly repaired a kitchen, showers, shelving, and other necessities that would allow housing again. In fact, at the Clayhole campus, the team restored a modular home that was tattered.

Additionally, the thrift shop was repaired.

According to Tim Pride, the goal was “to get Happy Church back up and running so that they could serve their community again.” After all, Jackson, Kentucky, is the third most impoverished community in the entire United States. Happy Church is a light to that community, and our team of skilled workers has begun the work of helping them get back to doing what they do best.

With the repairs done on the housing environment, visiting support groups can return, allowing for more help to come and work to be done restoring the rest of Happy Church to what it was before.

Mike Tabor, minister at Happy Church, reported the following to Tim Pride, “Man oh man, we were blessed like crazy! [A] supergroup of guys!”

John Jacobson, who oversees the ongoing projects at the church, said, “I echo Mike. You far exceeded any expectations I had. You blessed us so much.”

Next, our Mount Carmel team will go down this summer to continue the rebuilding project. They’ll do so because of the work done this past weekend.

Another sensational story to come out of our support for Happy Church, a “God moment,” as Tim Pride called it: For strategic purposes, Happy Church purchases their supplies and necessities, and we reimburse them with money we’ve collected as a church. Due to the abundance of needs, Tim had a feeling that the expenditures might go over budget. They did go over, by a few hundred dollars. As Tim was going through the receipts and realized the overage, we got word that a donation was made by someone who reads our weekly blog that covered, exactly, the overage amount!

One last thing: The Mount Carmel crew brought with them food and supplies that were collected by both our adults and our children’s ministry over the previous month. In total, our church family raised over $7K in support of the Happy Church’s restoration project, allowing the purchase of supply cabinets and building supplies.

We’re all doing our part to support a partner that is a fantastic instrument of God in a community in need.

Thanks to our crew that went down, the work continues and the road is paved to restoration.

We’re looking forward to getting back to work with Happy Church in July.