Volunteering doesn’t always mean you’ll see the immediate fruits of your labor, and that’s especially true when rebuilding homes. For Mary Francine Crawford Bonera and her group from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, they happened to be doing quite a bit of finishing work on several homes. Let’s take a look at how their week progressed.

When Mary and her group arrived, a group of AmeriCorps kids were watching for them from the windows. It made the Colorado Springs volunteers feel expected and wanted, like their time at Hope City was going to be cherished. From there, they met Tim Saunders. Tim took the time to show the volunteers the devastation and toll the fires of the last three years have taken on the community, and introduced them to some of the projects they’d be working on throughout the week. After all of that, orientation finished with a lovely meal. In the words of Bonera, “We don’t usually get treated to [that] as missionaries.”

Orientation day can be a bit overwhelming, as the needs of the community grow with every fire that affects them, and seeing the work yet to be done can be overwhelming. Once the week began, the Colorado crew fell right into the swing of things, and found themselves doing some of the lesser known aspects of home building. They stained three decks, painted trim for doors and interior trim, dug a 40ft trench, as well as a gas line. They even helped put together packets to send with other volunteers who would be doing work on the Pawnee fire, which was burning while they were in Lake County.

All of that is probably not something people think they’ll be working on when they’re volunteering to rebuild homes. However, that’s some of the most important work, the finish work, as it must be completed before our homeowners can receive their occupancy permit. An occupancy permit means they have the go ahead to live in their new home.

Before they left for the week, we talked with Mary to get her take on Hope City and the work that we do. She said, “Here at hope City there’s a wonderful system setup and it’s sound and it’s safe and it’s joyful and the work is hard but it’s so rejuvenating and it gives a sense of purpose for each missionary that’s here to serve.” We take a lot of pride in making our volunteers three promises: Good Work, Good Food, and Good Rest. You’re volunteering your time and talents and that deserves to be respected. If you would like to schedule a team, you can visit our website at https://HCRN.info/volunteer. You may also send Tim Saunders an email to inquire at [email protected]

Finally, Bonera had this to say about the work Hope City and HCRN does in Rebuilding Home and Restoring Lives: “I just wanna say thank you to Hope City for welcoming our group from the Air Force Academy. Thank you for being such beautiful ecumenical Christians and just reaching out and serving as Christ has served and modeling that behavior to all those who come through the door. We are so blessed and honored to work alongside you and be part of the great big family that Hope City has created and I thank you for this amazing week.”