Detroit Mission Trip
By Mark Barnes
June 29, 2016

Home again!  Everyone made it back safely tonight.  We are so thankful for a great week.  God has been gracious throughout and everyone’s prayers appreciated!

We were able to complete each of our projects through the hard work of each and every team member. 

One home owner was moving into her parents house and juggling her own possessions and those of her parents.  She has been through a number of difficulties over the past couple years and is suffering from anxiety.  She was thrilled to see the drywall getting painted and doors hung in her basement today!  Donna helped her pick out colors for the final touches that will be coming from the next crew working in Detroit.


Another home owner shared with Tom how he and his wife got married during a church service.  They wanted to use the money they had as a down payment on their home instead of on a big wedding.  They ended up getting married between the offering and sermon during a service.  He was glad for our team of volunteers and just how meticulous they were in doing a good job.  He had previous groups in and they didn’t quite have the skill our Pathway team had.  His suspended ceiling, paint job, doors and trim work turned out great.

Our other home owners were also just so thankful for the work that was done, and how well things turned out for their tile floor, paneling and trim, bathroom and drywall, and a number of small fixes done during our time. 

What a great week hearing the stories and talking with those we went to serve.  Getting to work for Christ alongside such great team members and getting to share the experience together was wonderful.  It was difficult to find someone who wasn’t smiling or laughing the entire time. 

And the best part was Donna discovered there really is a Santa Clause, and he’s volunteering as a cook in Detroit!

Comments: 4

June 28, 2016

Tuesday in Detroit started out much cooler!  We enjoyed temp’s in the 70s instead of the 90s.  Much Better!

Teams made a ton of progress at the different houses today taping and sanding drywall, laying tile, and installing ceiling tile.  We also started preparing doors to hang tomorrow. 

A few items to note were Dee demonstrating her drywall cutting skills; Kelsey and Bess were great leading the team with Sandy and Janna laying vinyl floor tile, Tom and Bill are almost done with a suspended ceiling, Jim can teach pastor Joel how to sand drywall :-), Donna Jan, and Amanda are great painters, Mark taught Jaclene and Dani how to use a compound miter and table saw; and Aaron, Kyle and Sam are painting machines and awesome ceiling tile installers.

Today was Dani's (Jaclene Bonnema's Friend) birthday!  Sandy snuck out and got her a birthday cake which was a nice surprise at dinner. 

Tonight we had a special treat for devotions from one of the Gunn Lake team members.  He is a magician and talked about how the devil tries steal our joy, devour our testimony, and destroy anything good in our lives through temptation.  He did quite a few different illusions while reminding us how Christ answered temptation quoting scripture in response.  The Bible truly is alive, active, and effective in all situations.  It is good to remember that we are called to bind it in our hearts and use it every day.

After devotions a small group headed back to Detroit to check out the river walk getting right up to, but not going over the Canadian border.  Who knew you could look south and see Canada from anywhere in the United States.  The rest of the group stayed back playing cards and visiting.

All-in-all another great day in Detroit.  We are thankful for prayers and safety thus far and looking forward to coming home Wednesday!

Comments: 0

June 27, 2016

Happy Monday!  The team had a great day in Detroit getting started working on our 5 different projects.  We headed out this morning in one piece, and thankfully everyone returned almost the same way.  Some were a few pounds lighter from working pretty hard on a hot day J 

Three of the home owners where teams worked spent some time talking with the group throughout the day.  Stories of the flood that did all this damage naturally came out in discussion.  One man recalled walking through waist-deep water in the street to get to his house.  One of the ladies talked about going into waist-deep water in her basement to unplug things!  One could not get her car out of the garage soon enough and the vehicle was lost to the flood. 

Each individual has been through hardship and is so thankful for teams that come to work!  There were an estimated 130,000 homes damaged in 2014.  Since then through this effort organized by the Southern Baptists, they have seen (1) 4 Professions of Faith; (2) 582 volunteers; (3) 21,655 volunteer hours from 20 different states working on over 70 houses in 2 years.

Tom K led devotions tonight reading about Jesus' call of the disciples from Luke 5.  What a diverse team that was absolutely not who you would expect Jesus to turn into the first church planters and missionaries!  Think about Judas, whom Jesus must have known would betray him later, that Jesus still called and loved just like the rest.

We are all challenged to listen to God’s call and go where He leads.  We may not feel equipped, ready, or much like a team, but if we trust Him miraculous things can happen.  And the cool thing is we get to be part of it!

After devotions some of us headed into Detroit to see one of the best firework shows in America this year by the river walk.  Some had more success than others navigating among a few million of our closest friends!

Comments: 0

June 26, 2016

We arrived!  The team will be staying at Schofield Elementary School in Warren, Michigan this week.  We are thankful for air conditioned accommodations and the great volunteer staff from Southern Baptist that manages the relief work and will be taking care of feeding us this week. 

After settling in, our first order of business was get something to eat (we are Pathway folk after all).  We found out our main jobs will be drywall, paneling, painting, scraping and painting a floor, and installing a drop ceiling.  We have the group divided into teams and will be ready to go first thing in the morning.


Jim V led our devotions tonight based on James 2:14-26 and discussed how we need to demonstrate our faith through our deeds in the full knowledge that our deeds cannot save us, God expects us to go out and demonstrate our faith.  He shared a story of a missionary going back to visit a man in China that he had brought to Christ years earlier.  The young man walked over 100 miles to meet the missionary and was proud to recite scripture that he memorized.

The missionary cautioned the man that he needed to not only learn the scriptures but do them as well.  The man said he had trouble learning the Sermon on the Mount until he decided to learn one verse at a time and then go do what that verse taught to one of his neighbors and then he could learn the next verse.

A great example of how to learn and do what God’s word tells!

The team is looking forward to a great week working and hoping to show God’s light to those they encounter.

Comments: 0

By Mark
June 22, 2016

One billion dollars.

22 Pathway missionaries are headed to Detroit, MI this Sunday, June 26.  The team will be working with the larger World Renew relief effort repairing homes and ministering to those still impacted by the 2014 flood.

Please be in prayer for the team throughout the week as they take this step toward helping other and serving the Lord in this way.

Follow along Sunday - Wednesday through this blog sharing in the experience and seeing how God is working through this CRC ministry.

$1 billion was reported as the estimated cost of the recovery from an historic August 2014 flood in Detroit, Michigan.

“The Detroit flood was the largest U.S. disaster in 2014. The entire Detroit metropolitan area was hit by heavy rain that caused considerable flooding and damage,” said Doug Guikema, a regional manager for World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS). “About 129,000 households requested financial assistance from the federal government in that disaster.”

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