Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Bible school students build faith on Habitat project


On a steamy Tuesday evening, students from Beaver Creek (Md.) Church of the Brethren's vacation Bible school lined up to receive paint rollers and brushes.

Three bedrooms in the partially finished house waited for a fresh coat of the cream-colored paint.

The house at 246 Vickie Drive is a Habitat for Humanity project. With help from the church group, it was one step closer to completion.

Dennis Minnick, one of the adult supervisors of the group of seven high school-aged children, said they would probably be back tonight to do some more painting.

"They get along together," he said of the teenagers.

In a back room, Nathaniel Minnick, a student at Smithsburg High School, was painting the top edge of a wall, careful not to get paint on the ceiling. With a flourish from their paint rollers, the other members of the group were rapidly applying the first coat of paint.

Dennis Minnick said the theme of the Bible school is "Construction Zone." He said helping with the Habitat for Humanity project was a way for the youths to put what they learned into action, literally.

"Building faith in God. Building character to be like Jesus," said Keith Griffith Jr., a recent graduate of South Hagerstown High School, about the theme of the camp. He was carefully applying paint along a window frame with a small brush.

Tom Ferguson, another supervisor for the project, said some members of the church, including some of the participants in the Bible school, are going to Pensacola, Fla., in coming weeks to help repair damage caused by Hurricane Dennis.

As a member of the disaster response team for the church, Ferguson has helped repair damage from storms in Mississippi and Virginia.

The Habitat house the church youth group is working on is one of two being built in the county, said Sherry Brown Cooper, the director of Washington County Habitat for Humanity.

She said volunteers and donations have increased in recent years, but so has the price of land. Finding an affordable piece of land to build on is one the biggest challenges the nonprofit group faces.

"There's demand for affordable housing ... personally, I think it's the greatest need in Washington County," Cooper said.

Source: Hagerstown Herald-Mail ONLINE

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