For Columbia 2021 - Alive In Christ Serves

This year 28 people from Alive In Christ (AIC) served on For Columbia teams.  AIC family and friends made a big impact in the community by joining with people from other local churches.  We asked our Alive In Christ participants to share a little about what they did and any pictures that they had from the event.

Several AIC families (Hendersons, Schartmons & Whaleys) worked to beautify the landscaping around Woodhaven group homes.  

Are you familiar with neighborhood lending libraries?   They are small libraries in neighborhoods where people can grab a book to read and leave books of their own for others to read.  The Ritts family spent the day assembling lending libraries to be placed in the community.  There group made 12 libraries on Saturday! For Columbia will initially stock the libraries with books and then has sponsors to keep an eye on the libraries.  AIC is a sponsor of a lending library.  The library will placed at the corner of the walking trail and the Bedford Walk neighborhood.  

AIC members (Dwight Enfield & Paul Michaletz) served on the Online Prayer Hub team.  Dwight said, "It was a rewarding experience particularly praying with other Christians from churches in the area in support of For Columbia. It was an excellent reminder about how large and engaged the Church of our Lord and Savior is."

Can you spot the member of the AIC family helping sort clothes?  Cheri Stoffer said, "Was crazy busy at Fairview Church – sorting clothes for non for profits."

Patty Avery and the Wiese family spent their morning painting trash cans and recycle bins in the District.  After they finished painting they enjoyed lunch at the pop-up park on the business loop. Patty wrote, "Joining in the #FORCOLUMBIA projects is always fun; this was my 6th year.  I served downtown, cleaning and painting trash cans and recycle bins before business hours on Saturday.  My work team enjoyed visiting with passers-by and were thanked by many of them!  Lunch with volunteers from other work sites is always fun as well.  It’s a good chance to visit with members of other churches and hear of experiences at their work sites. "

The Ryan family worked to cut down invasive honeysuckle in a wooded area behind a neighborhood.  Ashley wrote, "The kids had so much fun…they enjoy nature and finding bugs, turtles, nests with eggs (mom not so much). We met some really nice people and enjoyed having lunch all together after."  Not familiar with the Ryans?  They just moved to Columbia and recently started attending AIC.

Gary Schuetze is the team lead on a 2000 square foot construction project.  Gary said, "Our project is turning a 2,000 sq. ft. retail space (formerly a laundromat) into a fellowship hall for Tabernacle of Grace Ministries, which is right next door in the other space. It will be an ongoing project. From our church we had Jake Dablemont and my son Nathan Schuetze, who were instrumental leading the team who got the walls framed that we had to build, as well as getting the drywall on one side. I was super glad to have them there for that!

There was another team priming the concrete block walls, and then painting them. Other folks were taking care of cleaning up the parking lot and planting area, pruning trees and bushes, and putting mulch down.

We had a LOT of people who volunteered for this project, the majority of whom were from Broadway Christian Church. All the people who were there got a LOT done - it was wonderful!

Jeffrey Thompson led a team at Paquin for his 4th strait year.  Here is what he had to say about the work that they did "Great people doing some great stuff. We planted lots of flowers and plants in their community garden and around the building. We put roughly 400 cubic feet of mulch around the property which really cleaned up the look the the park. We got down on hands and knees and cleaned apartments, stairwells and common areas. Most importantly we had people sit down with residents and make human connections. The cleaning, the mulch are great, but relationships are what we are in the business of! It was great to see and the residents had a great time."

Mike and Kathy Thienes served at Wilkes Blvd Church where Loaves & Fishes is housed. Kathy said, "We cleaned out the refrigerators and freezers, cleaned all surfaces and organized the kitchen. We met people from other churches and enjoyed working side by side with them. It was a good morning."

Leah Hibbeler worked on a Love Columbia project. She said, "I had a great time at For Columbia! I served at one of Love Columbia's transitional homes and we did yard/garden work, clearing a lot of overgrown areas and taking down a couple small trees. I thought I would be working alongside other people from AIC, but my group ended up all being members from The Crossing, so I got to meet some new people!"  (Note the picture is not of the actual house they worked at.)

Thank you to the numerous other AIC family and friends who participated in For Columbia.  If you have pictures or want to share your For Columbia experience, you can email 
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