Paint, sweat and love
Training to serve is a key goal for work camps.
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Bailey McBride Staff Reports | The Christian Chronicle
WICHITA, Kan. — In Kansas’ most populated city, Christians celebrated 10 years of gutter cleaning, paint scraping, dead shrubbery pulling and profuse sweating.

They celebrated by doing it all again.

The Wichita WorkCamp, hosted by the Northside Church of Christ, brings young volunteers from across the region to help rehabilitate homes.

The Memphis Workcamp has rehabilitated 821 houses in its 28 years. (PHOTO BY MICHELLE PRATER ROBERTS)“The church provides the paint, the homeowners provide the house, and we provide the manpower,” Brenda Heller, a crew leader for this year’s camp, told The Wichita Eagle.

About 150 volunteers, including teens, college students and adults, painted 15 homes and helped the city remove graffiti.

“This is our way of teaching them – training them – that our whole idea here on earth is to serve other people,” Heller said.

Across the nation, Churches of Christ host similar work camps. In Memphis, Tenn., volunteers with the Memphis Workcamp have painted 821 houses since the first camp in 1989. Mark McVey, youth minister for the Germantown Church of Christ, brought the idea from Oklahoma City.

“When you dip those rollers ... into that paint, and then you paint on that house, what are you doing?” Memphis-area minister Jim Harbin asked participants in a recent workcamp. “You are spreading the love of God on that house!”

More than painting by the numbers

Work camp brings unity, sympathy and praise