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Church construction team aids ‘Extreme Makeover’ in Wash.

BLACK DIAMOND, Wash. (BP)–Some construction workers would jump at the chance to work with Ty Pennington, the energetic star of the hit television series “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

But for members of the church construction ministry team of Chapel Wood Baptist Church in Black Diamond, Wash., the chance to help a family under severe stress made the offer impossible to turn down.

Viewers of the show were moved as they heard the unlikely story of young Jael Kirkwood, who petitioned ABC Television for help. The tenacity of the 11-year-old paid off when the family was selected in mid-November by the show to have the family’s mold-ridden home rebuilt after a former contractor started a job but never completed it.

When approached by his employer, Chapel Wood member Paul Bainton readily agreed to take his work crew to remove asbestos from the family’s original home in the Puget Sound community of Port Orchard.

“This is the type of work I do every day,” Bainton said. With gas mask firmly in place, he was one of the first workers in place to remove asbestos before the old home could be demolished. Although he and his boss stayed behind to help tear down the house, Bainton thought that would be the end of his work.

As he drove to Sunday services at Chapel Wood the following week, however, a radio broadcast appealed for additional help. Inclement weather and unforeseen difficulties had put work crews severely behind schedule.

“At church, several members of our construction mission team volunteered to go with me to help,” Bainton said. He loaded up his son Jerry, Mitch Tresslar and Jacob McDaniel and drove to the work site. Several hours passed before they could talk to the project manager, who invited them back the next day to act as finish carpenters.

Early in the morning that next day, three of the Chapel Wood team members returned to Port Orchard to join 150 other people working in the house simultaneously.

“It was chaotic,” Bainton said, “but to see all these people volunteering their time and talents for one purpose was just awesome. I just love doing this type of work for others. I am a carpenter and God gave me these gifts, so I should use them.”

The final day, Bainton’s wife Tammy returned to the new home to help decorate, fill nail holes with putty and perform other chores to ready the home for the family’s arrival.

Teresa Shaw, another church member, installed window blinds for the company where she is employed.

“To be part of something like that was an awesome experience, and one I will never forget, to see the family return and several thousand people all cheering for them,” Bainton said.

Officials estimated 3,000 volunteers helped with the project.

“My company and members of my church are just a few of those who came together as a team and accomplished this great task,” Bainton said. “Never underestimate what God can do with those who are willing to step out and serve.”

Chapel Wood’s construction ministry team has been in action for more than five years, traveling the Northwest to assist with church construction and various other projects. Currently, the team is assisting the building crew at CrossPointe Baptist Church in Vancouver, Wash., with its new worship facility.
Sheila Allen is managing editor of the Northwest Baptist Witness, newsjournal of the Northwest Baptist Convention.

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  • Sheila Allen