Celebrating 15 Years of Repairing Homes and Restoring Lives!

A family’s life has been changed in the Township of Langley, B.C., for the past 15 years. This has happened each year on Victoria Day. For 15 spring seasons, the Acts of Kindness Ministry’s Extreme Home Repair (EHR) team at Church in the Valley, formerly known as Aldergrove Seventh-day Adventist Church, has sought out and gladly performed major renovation projects for neighbours in their community.

Past projects have seen willing volunteers—under skilled supervision—replacing roofs, repairing electrical systems, moving walls, creating rooms, repairing and replacing flooring and siding, replacing unsafe decks, installing proper lot drainage, landscaping, and renovating a home to be wheelchair accessible complete with roll-in shower. The projects involved more scraping, painting, and decorating than you can imagine. Not only this, but the entire project is done with permits and to code!

Mildew and black mould are banished, insulation and windows for lower hydro bills are installed—everything that the homeowners could not accomplish with just their own resources is done—all with “no strings attached.”

After 15 days of intense construction, the home is finished inside and out, cleaned, furnished, and the landscaping is just like new. Every Victoria Day, a family comes home to a new house! When they see their new home for the first time, the recipients feel amazement and joy, and quite often, happy tears stream down their faces!

Nominations for home repair are accepted each fall from the community, needs are assessed, and a worthy family is chosen. Smaller projects are sometimes completed in addition to the year’s main home. How is all this accomplished? A yearly Acts of Kindness Golf Tournament each September provides important funds. We have over 100 community companies that donate building materials and food, along with about 200 volunteers who do the work. God has been so good to us, providing everything we need!

What could motivate anyone to give countless hours of hard labour to a family they have never met and may never see again after the exciting “Reveal Day”? The EHR motto says it all: “Repairing Homes, Restoring Lives.” About half the volunteers on the project are not Adventist church members but come back year after year, and we have established friendships with these people. Some volunteers are previous recipients. Others even schedule vacation time so they can help volunteer during the week days!

“But,” I hear you ask, “have any people ever been baptized from these efforts?” The answer to your question is yes. We have others who attend church because of this ministry. Church growth happens with God’s timing. We will continue to serve His children no matter how many are baptized.

This year’s recipients are Chris and Charlene Adam of Aldergrove, B.C. Chris is on long-term disability because of multiple sclerosis, and his wife, Charlene, experienced a stroke and can work only part-time. The house has fallen into disrepair, and they have not been able to work on it themselves. This is why EHR exists. To help God’s people in His world.

Following Christ’s way of mingling with the people “as one who desired their good”[1] has been a blessing for hundreds of volunteers and the EHR team leaders for 15 unforgettable years. We will continue to use this method to connect with the people of the Township of Langley.

[1] Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing, 143.