#fools4Christ17 Week 5

Week 5 in York

We were so excited to welcome our good friends from Collins UMC of Collins, MS, and our new friends from First UMC of Anniston, AL! The Collins crew extended Christ’s love with Sonshine Day Camp all week. We really appreciated how they brought the Child of God, Person of Worth (#COGPOW) to life through their Bible lessons, arts & crafts, songs, games, and all the time spent just being present with the kids! This was their 3rd summer in a row to serve with the Sonshine Camp, and many of the kids remembered them from last year!

The team from First UMC Anniston extended Christ’s love with four families in Sumter County. This team came ready to serve – they even brought their own tool trailer! The experience of their adult leaders combined with the willingness of their students to serve really made a huge impact as homes became warmer, safer, and drier. It was great to see how they got to know the families as they served!

Both teams and our staff were blessed by the hospitality of Livingston First Baptist Church who hosted us and our home repair families for a wonderful dinner and time of fellowship. Nicole Cronin, day camp counselor, and Heyinn Rho, construction coordinator, led the team in a #fools4christ devotion at dinner that focused on the story of Mary and Martha with Jesus. Mary’s boldness shows us how being a fool for Christ sometimes means letting go of social norms. While she was “supposed” to be helping her sister Martha as a host, she instead chose to be with Jesus as his disciple, which was also breaking the norm of male-only disciples. Many norms are good and helpful, but following Jesus like fools sometimes means we have to sacrifice the comfort and familiarity of doing what we already know to do in order to take a risk and try something new.

Thank you Collins and FUMC Anniston!

Week 5 in Tuskegee

This was a very special week in Tuskegee as we welcomed our friends from Trinity UMC Ft. Walton Beach, FL. It’s hard to believe but this was there ELEVENTH summer in a row to extend Christ’s love with us! We are so thankful for their commitment to ending substandard housing in rural AL, and so thankful for their faithfulness shown over these many years of service.

The Trinity team had 1 crew serving with the children at Sonshine Camp and 2 other crews serving with the home repair ministry. It was a very hot week and both of these home repair crews worked with families whose homes needed roof repair – one was even a metal roof! The middle picture shows a group building a wheelchair ramp with a family in the Loachapoka area.

The day camp crew did an outstanding job with the Child of God, Person of Worth theme and we’re so thankful for the way they express Christ’s love with the kids. As you can see from the top picture, they enjoyed a super fun water day on Thursday afternoon (Unfortunately the Tuskegee city pool is closed for maintenance).

On Tuesday, which was July 4, the team leaders surprised their students with a special outing to Montgomery for a Biscuits baseball game. Of course, their were fireworks after the game too! Our staff really enjoyed this fun time of fellowship with the team!

We can’t say thanks enough to our friends from Trinity UMC! You are such a blessing to our ministry in so many ways. We can’t wait to see you again next summer!

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#fools4Christ17 Week 4

After Tropical Storm Cindy moved on, we enjoyed a great – DRY! – week of extending the love of Christ to end substandard housing in rural Alabama! It’s hard to believe but this week marks the halfway point for youth mission camp 2017… time flies when you’re serving others!

Bellview UMC putting the finishing touches on Ms. Cowan’s safer and drier bathroom.

In Tuskegee, we were excited to welcome new friends from Bellview UMC of Pensacola, FL. Their team had 2 home repair crews – one serving with Ms. Cowan in Shorter and another with Ms. Reid in Notasulga. This was our first time to serve with Bellview and we look forward to many more opportunities to partner in ministry!

We also welcomed back our friends from Church at Cahaba Bend of Helena, AL. This team had 1 home repair crew and a day camp crew. The home repair crew served with Ms. Turk in Notasulga – making great progress on her roof repairs! The day camp crew brought our #cogpow day camp theme to life through Bible stories, music, and crafts. Plus, they got to help with Camp iCare, a 1 week camp developed by Auburn University that’s all about teaching leadership, financial literacy, and making a positive impact in your community! This was our 2nd summer to bring Camp iCare to Sonshine Day Camp and we’re so thankful for this program.

Every week has something unique… this week it was puppies 🙂 Two puppies were dropped off at the church. Our staff cared for them throughout the week. Thankfully, they found a new home with Jackie Doss, our LeadUP summer intern from Perdido Bay UMC serving with us throughout Week 4 in Tuskegee. Thanks Jackie!

First UMC Montgomery serving with Ms. Johnson

In Sumter County, we had a great week serving with our friends from First UMC Montgomery! This was the team’s first time serving at youth mission camp with us, but we have hosted teams for service days in Tuskegee in the past. Regardless, this team served well with our families and day camp kids. On the home repair side, Ms. Johnson of Emelle and Ms. Eades of Boyd were blessed to host these volunteers. The day camp crew showed Christ’s love throughout the week with our Sonshine day campers.

Again, every week is unique… A storm blew through on Wednesday evening just as we had began to cook dinner. As you might guess, the power went out and so did our ovens. Our Sumter County teams are hosted in York, AL, where there is only one option for fast food – Church’s Chicken. Thankfully, it was chicken finger night at ARM and Church’s was still open for cash purchases only. Joe Davis, a native of York and ARM’s Director of Ministry Operations, actually bought ALL the chicken at Church’s – a lifetime achievement for sure – in order to keep our team well fed! The power was restored just as dinner was served, and our Extend Night worship service brought a great discussion about how we understand the “hidden rules” among poverty, middle, and wealth classes.


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#fools4Christ17 Week 3

Week 3 of youth mission camp 2017 brought us teams from as far as Chillicothe, MO, and as close as Fayette, AL! It also brought us an unwelcome visitor – Tropical Storm Cindy. Thankfully, our sites did not experience the worst of the storms but all the rain did slow us down on the home repair sites. But, God was with us through it all and we were amazed to see how He was at work as we extended Christ’s love – even in the storm!

First UMC Fayette, AL and friends hosted by PraiseNation Church

In Sumter County, we were joined by our friends from Vestavia Hills UMC and First UMC Fayette, AL. Both teams are ARM veterans – serving for 3 or 4 years in a row!

On Wednesday night, our teams were hosted for dinner by PraiseNation church of Morningstar, AL – a “suburb” of York 🙂 Pastor Dwayne Watson and his church family welcomed us and our home repair families with open arms for a delicious meal. We’re so thankful for the many churches in Sumter County that host us throughout the summer! Our devotion for the evening was based on the story of Mary and Martha. Have you ever noticed how foolish Mary is? A woman, breaking through the crowd of men to sit at Jesus’ feet and learn from him when she “should” have been serving the guests… she was willing to sacrifice it all to know Jesus and be his disciple – even if it meant looking like a fool!

Chillicothe UMC of Chillicothe, MO

In Tuskegee, we were so excited to welcome new friends from Chillicothe UMC to help us end substandard housing in Macon County! This team served hard through the rain and storms with Ms. Turk in Notasulga. They made great progress repairing damaged sub-floors throughout the home. At day camp, this team showed their perseverance and flexibility as we moved locations unexpectedly when the schools closed on Tuesday afternoon due to Tropical Storm Cindy. This team took it all in stride and kept on loving Ms. Turk and our Sonshine day campers just the same. They were also able to visit the Tuskegee Airmen National Museum. We’re so glad they got to learn more about the rich history of the Tuskegee community as they served!


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Apply Now: Two Internships Starting this Fall

Applications are now available for our two internship positions starting this fall! We’re so excited to welcome to new members to our ministry team – a Volunteer Coordinator and Recruitment & Communications Coordinator.

The Volunteer Coordinator works on the front lines of our movement to end substandard housing by organizing and equipping teams to serve all year round! The Recruitment and Communications Coordinator is ARM’s storyteller helping us to grow and engage more and more friends and neighbors!

These are great positions for recently graduated college students and may be a good fit for recent high school graduates taking a gap year before college! Both positions are paid (modestly) with housing provided by ARM.

Join us as we work to end substandard housing in rural Alabama and gain great non-profit ministry experience! Read more about each position below, download a job description, and get started on your application.

Download an application

Volunteer Coordinator

At ARM, we believe that service is a lifestyle for disciples of Jesus. We create opportunities for churches and ministries to extend their discipleship through serving with low-income families and children in rural AL to end substandard housing in our rural communities. Christ-centered friendships are built through these opportunities which reflect the love, compassion, and reconciliation of God’s kingdom. The Volunteer Coordinator strives to see these relationships develop as homes are made warmer, safer, drier, and more beautiful or as children learn God’s story, experience God’s love, and grow into the leaders God has called them to be. The Volunteer Coordinator works on the front lines of ARM’s growing movement of disciples seeking to end substandard housing in rural AL by extending the love of Christ.

Click here to download a full job description for the Volunteer Coordinator

Download an application

Recruitment and Communications Coordinator

Everyone loves a good story and, as followers of Jesus, we have the best story to tell. It is a story we are empowered by God’s grace to tell with our very lives. At ARM, we see the story of God’s kingdom coming to life all around us as the narrative of substandard housing in rural AL is turned upside down by tales of hope restored and dreams rebuilt. The Recruitment and Communications coordinator is ARM’s storyteller seeking to grow our movement to end substandard housing in rural AL. Whether the medium is an e-newsletter to donors and volunteers or one-on-one conversations with college students at a career fair, the Communication and Recruitment Coordinator strives to invite more and more people into the story God is telling through this ministry.

Click here to download a full job description for the Recruitment and Communications Coordinator

Download an application




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#foolsforChrist17 Week 2

A crew from Crossroads Bible Church with Ms. Reid!

Week 2 of youth mission camp brought us 3 teams of new friends serving with ARM for the first time!

Our Tuskegee team, Crossroads Bible Church, came all the way from Norris City, IL. They had 3 highly efficient construction crews who served with 4 families in Lee/Macon counties. Crossroads also served with the kids for our first full week of Sonshine Day Camp!

One construction crew served with our friend Ms. Reid. While they worked to re-build a badly damaged portion of her roof, Ms. Reid was cooking some delicious meals to share with the crew for lunch. And, she even made enough to provide dinner for the whole team! We’re so thankful for Ms. Reid, Crossroads Bible Church, and the new friendships that were made throughout the week on the work sites and with the kids at day camp.

Check out the Week 2 Tuskegee highlight video below!

Week 2 teams in York respond to the call to be #fools4Christ

Our York teams came from Mauldin UMC of Mauldin, SC, and Rocky River Presbyterian Church of Concord, NC. Both teams had crews serving through home repair and day camp ministry!

Each night of the week our summer ministry interns lead our mission teams in evening worship. This summer we’re focusing on what it means to be a fool for Christ, which is based on Paul’s challenge to the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 4:8-13. On Monday nights, our teams are challenged to reflect on what God is calling them to give up or sacrifice to be a fool. Mindful of Jesus’ sacrifice as the ultimate fool, students write their response on a card and nail it to the cross to symbolize their commitment to be a #fool4Christ.

Check out the week 2 highlight video featuring our York teams below!

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