Disciples News Service

Disciples make a difference in Indianapolis

by Kurt Gwartney for Communication Ministries

As lightning sparked across the early morning sky and rain fell in buckets, General Assembly volunteers created their own thunder inside the Indiana Convention Center as the sound of nails pounding into lumber rang out, transforming boards into the walls of a Habitat for Humanity home.

The home construction project was just one of several supported by dozens of mission volunteers Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during the 2017 General Assembly.

While many rolled up their sleeves to create the walls for a future home, others did the same to donate blood. Some crafted hats from red balls of yarn for newborn babies as more volunteers created capes for children being treated for life-threatening illnesses. Another group sorted potatoes for use by the Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana.

The Rev. Brooks Barrick, senior pastor at Olive Branch Christian Church in Indianapolis, coordinated the mission activities.

The panels constructed Tuesday for the Habitat home will make their way to the Indiana State Fair where more volunteers will complete the build. Once they’re done, the structure will be moved to the prepared foundation and finished for the homeowner, Sebastian Quintero.

As a single student at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, Quintero wanted the home to provide a place for his mother following his father’s recent death.

On Monday, the Crop Drop, a partnership with the Society of St. Andrews, rescued the remainder of last year’s potato harvest with the help of the General Assembly volunteers.

They turned the sorting of 11 tons of potatoes into a game, tossing produce past its prime into a large bin. The good potatoes were repackaged for distribution at the Gleaners Food Bank.

Super hero capes crafted during General Assembly will be going to the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincents. The felt cape project drew the attention of youth who carefully traced and cut patterns to fashion the colorful capes.

The Indiana Blood Center spent three days offering General Assembly attendees the chance to donate blood, with blue arm bandages showing that many gave the gift of life.

West Street Christian Church in Tipton, Indiana provided knitting kits that helped mission volunteers create tiny, red caps to distribute to hospitals across central Indiana as part of the “Little Hats, Big Hearts” program of the American Heart Association.

Other mission projects included an advocacy project for Bread for the World and community gardening with the Patachou Foundation. The Young Adult Commission collected supplies for the homeless and the Youth Council prepared breakfast at two Ronald McDonald houses in Indianapolis.