Can You Out Give a Junior High Student?

Day 1-Night 1- No More Shacks 2016


We had such an awesome day yesterday. First, I was joined by Minister Sara Head who serves on our board . Later the District Superintendents from both Montgomery Opelika and Montgomery Prattville, Rev. Robbins Simms and Rev. John Brooks.  It was great to visit, talk about ministry, and see people donate on their behalf.

Part of this week is hosting workshops from other organizations and ministries that also work with families on low incomes. We were excited to have Ms. Sue Edge from the Lee County Literacy Coalition come and share about her work. Using tutors and other volunteers, her team helps adults study and get their GED and better their reading skills. With younger children, the coalition partners with schools to help kids improve their reading and writing skills. All of this requires volunteer tutors. She made connections with our prison system and how many people in prison are functionally illiterate. The numbers are staggering as people are trapped in a prison within a prison. We appreciate Sue, her work, and the students who came to hear from her.

Later in the afternoon we were joined by Mr. Fred Callahan who serves on our board as well as Dave and Pam Mashburn who brought me dinner.  Kids came to paint and we have some fun videos of them you can find on our FB page.

Most memorable was being visited by Braden Gentry. This is the source of my question-can you out give a junior high student? Braden is in junior high and has been giving to ARM since he was in elementary school. What started as $8.00 when he was 6 is now $50 that he saved up. Bradon also supports Locs of Love and eagerly grows his hair to eventually cut and donate for cancer patients. His heart is what is the most generous of all and he is a growing example of discipleship.

The night was fairly quiet. Three college students from Auburn Wesley Foundation stayed overnight in the guest shack. Joseph Farris and Leo Gonzalez are committed servants of ARM, both serving on summer staff for two summers and working with us during the school year. Joseph is currently interning with us. Drew is the local missions coordinator with Wesley and has organized the Super Mission Saturdays. Besides the typical steady stream of college students going through town and the early morning trucks…it was pretty quiet. Only one prank to mention-my yard signs telling our story were nowhere in sight when I awoke. I took a look down the street and discovered that evidently someone did not think highly of my display skills. Easy fix- no harm, no foul. Question to ponder-is this the worst of the pranks or foreshadowing of what is to come????? Stay tuned!

Total this morning was over $34,000! Great work-My goal is to get to $45,000 today!!!

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Fall Break with Emory Wesley

A group of college students who attend Emory University’s Wesley Fellowship led by Rev. Joseph McBrayer came to serve with us over their fall break. This was the second time this group has served with us, and we absolutely love reuniting with old faces and welcoming new ones! Not only do some of these students attend Emory’s Atlanta campus, but they also attend Emory’s Oxford campus and Georgia Tech. Joseph and his wife Frances are both Auburn alumni who served with us throughout college. The group arrived on a Friday evening and spent Saturday and Monday serving with Ms. Anderson and Ms. McIntosh. What a joy it was to welcome back one of our 2016 summer staff, Naj Phillips, who returned to serve with this crew!


At Ms. McIntosh’s house, they tiled that floor and put insulation in her ceiling. Ms. McIntosh explained to them, “God wants us to love everybody and help others as we can.”


One of our board members, Roger, led the team in helping us work with Ms. Anderson to finish her porch.

Sunday, they worshipped at a local church and then headed to Montgomery for a Civil Rights tour.  





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Want to come serve with us for a weekend or a week during the winter or spring? Learn more, here!

All photo credits go to Joseph and his team!

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Two more days and it starts!!!!

Just several hours before the shack officially launches! I am excited about the number of families we are going to be able to serve because of the impact of this event! The days are getting shorter, cooler, and I personally am getting more excited! And…looks like we will get a little rain. If you are in the Auburn area, mark your calendar to come by and see us.

So, who is in the shack on Wednesday?

From 9-12: Minister Sara Head- she is on our board of directors, has worked in housing, and attends Church of the Highlands–Rev. Lori Shelton Puckett- Bradford’s Chapel in Shorter, AL–Rev. John Brooks the District Superintendent for the Montgomery/Prattville District—Rev. Robbins Simms the District Superintendant for the Montgomery/Opelika District—

From 12-3: Mr. Fred Callahan, an ARM board member–

From 3-6: Mr. and Mrs. Dave and Pam Mashburn, Dave serves as an ARM board member and both are wonderful friends.

Stay tuned for all that will be happening in the next several days and remember you can bring kids buy to paint!

See you at the shack,


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Happy Birthday, Miss Betty!

One of the greatest joys of this ministry is being able to work alongside the families with whom we serve! As we work together with families to make their homes warm, safe, and dry, we have also have the opportunity to initiate and nurture friendships with them. As we shingle roofs, build wheelchair ramps, and replace floorboards, we are reminded that the relationships we build have significance beyond the physicality of our work. Our relationships are built from the time we spend with the families exchanging stories, laughs, hugs, smiles, phone calls, and sometimes even tears.

Once we have completed all of the needed repairs for an individual family, we make a construction closeout visit with them to make sure that they are satisfied with the repairs. We also coordinate ministry closeout visits with each family. During these ministry closeout visits, two ARM staff visit with the family and engage in a time of discussion about the family’s experience working with us. During these visits, we also present the family with a small toolbox, a framed certificate of appreciation, a Bible signed by all of the ARM staff, a quilt that has been prayed over by another local ministry, and a file folder with an ARM brochure and pen and some return envelopes with our mailing address printed on them. Finally, these visits end in a time of prayer with the family.


One of the best parts about these visits is that it allows for people in our office who have not yet met a certain family to go, meet them, and visit with them! During one of mine and Lisa’s recent visits with Miss Betty–one of the homeowners–she let it slip that her birthday was coming up on the following Monday. Neither Lisa nor I had met Miss Betty before, and we were absolutely blown away by her kindness, hospitality, and joyful spirit. Miss Betty loves interior design, and we could tell the minute she welcomed us into her home! Her home was lovely! She insisted on giving us a tour of her home and showing us each room. Everything was color coordinated, not to mention impeccably clean and tidy.

Miss Betty lives by herself; she doesn’t have a car; and she no longer works. She seems to have very little interaction with other people. In fact, during our visit, there were many times when I caught tears streaming down her face. Over and over, she let us know how excited and appreciative she was that we thought enough about her to come out and visit her. To know how much joy our visit brought Miss Betty drove me to tears as well.

When she told us that her birthday was coming up and that she didn’t have any plans, Lisa sneakily tried to ask her what her favorite type of cake was–we were both thinking the same thing! Birthdays are incredibly special to me, and I think that everyone should feel so super celebrated and loved on their birthday. So, as Lisa and I left Miss Betty’s that day, we began making preparations for her surprise birthday celebration the following week.

Joe, Lisa, and I celebrated Miss Betty’s birthday with her last Monday. The day was filled with cake, candles, cards, laughter, and many, many birthday wishes, blessings, and hugs!

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A Spring Break that Matters



Is your campus ministry or youth group looking for a place to serve this Spring Break? We’d love to host you and your friends in Tuskegee, AL where you can extend Christ’s love with us through home repair ministry!

Whether it’s the whole week, half a week, or just a weekend, we can fit within your Spring Break schedule.

Join us to make your Spring Break matter! Check out to find out more and register your team.

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Warm, Safe, Dry
Too many of our friends in rural AL live in homes that are cold, unsafe, and wet.We need your help
Love Your Neighbors
Mission makes new friends. You’ll love getting to know the families with whom you’re serving. Find out how.
Build Community
Serve together. Worship together. Learn Together. Experience Christian community in a deeper way. Register your team.
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