Three days. Front and back yards. 8 rooms. Fresh. New. Saturated with love.
Our incredible team of 80+ volunteers spent a weekend making over Carol Smallwood's home in Garden Grove a few weeks ago.
Carol left town to visit her daughter while our team of energetic volunteers swooped in for a miraculous weekend transformation. Expecting just some new plants and fresh paint upon her return, she was overwhelmed to see the amount of work that was completed on her home.
One of the best things about our Mystery Makeover projects is hearing the stories of generosity that are inspired. Take, for example, a family who came to help with Carol's home who asked about painting plans. When our project leaders informed them that we intended to paint just a few spots to touch up the front of the home, the family personally hired a painting company to repaint the entire front of the house. Talk about radical generosity!
Carol came to thank our congregation a few weeks later for our work on her home.
"I love Salem. I always have. I loved working here and getting to know all of you," Carol said to our congregation. "I always feel like when I come up here, I come in the light...I don't know, there's something about this place that I love.
"I've always been impressed that Salem focuses on Mission, that that's an important part of what you believe the Church to be, that sharing the Gospel and helping others is something that you do. I hope that never changes.
"In my 45 years in ministry, I've worked at 10 congregations. I've never seen it anywhere else."
She went on to say, "People have been so impressed with your kindness to me, and I hope that everyone is thinking, 'What can I do to help people around me?' I know I am. How can I pay this back, pay it forward?
"The extra blessing I think I got is, as I thought of all of this, somebody... said "Oh you deserve it." When somebody says that, it's like, no, not really! Not as much as this blessing...it's so much.
"But then I was reminded...if I feel so unworthy for this, I get God's grace every single day, and I don't always think about that, that that gift of His is really undeserved, and I kind of take it for granted. So your gift has really made me more appreciative and more focused on what God is doing for me every day.
"I am reminded of God's grace and love
through your kindness"
"So as I sit in my beautiful, clean home, I'm reminded of God's grace and love through your kindness, and I feel loved and cared for."