Faith-based service group is one local man's 'answered prayer'

Saturday, July 13, 2019
News 12 at 11 'O Clock

Photo: Shelley Baumann

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - This week a group of about 50, mostly high school and college students, will pick up hammer and nail to serve the community.

It's the Salkehatchie Summer Service Camp. Those students, along with construction-savvy adults, will repair four houses in the Augusta area this week.

They'll wake up each work day at about 5:30 a.m. They'll sleep in church classrooms and take showers at a local school.

All of it is being done to share the love of God. Those News 12 spoke with can't get enough.

"It's like eating a bag of chips you can't only have one," said 15-year-old Ryan Rogers, who's attending for the second time.

It begs the question, why?

"It's just a really meaningful week to serve others and until you do it yourself it's kind of hard to explain," said Shelley Baumann, director North Augusta Salkehatchie Summer Service.

For 73-year-old William Grace, it's not too hard to explain.

"Oh, lord have mercy. It's an answer to a prayer," Grace said.

He's lived in his house for more than 40 years.
It needs a new roof badly, and for awhile he thought it would never be fixed.

"If it's not repaired," he said. "I might as well live in the yard in a tent. I can't afford to do it on my own."

Mr. Grace used to repair pianos for a living. Now he's retired, and he lives off social security.

Frankly, things haven't gone his way.

"I had a heart attack in '02," he said. "I couldn't do what I used to do."

When Salkehatchie Summer Service Camp reached out to him, he knew it was an act of God.

Nevertheless, he's stayed positive. It's likely those working on his home may learn a lesson from him too.

"You can't give up cause something good may happen," he said. "Like this!"

The service group will fix Mr. Grace's roof, but they say his entire property will be cleaned up by the end of the week.

If you'd like to support the service group, here is a link to their Facebook page.