SAGE BC in Bella Coola
On May 22, 2016, 12 SAGEBC Volunteers began work on a project to refurbish the church, gym and school at Bella Coola.
Bella Coola has a small congregation and school, with most of the members working full time during each day.
As the three professional carpenters began examining the buildings, they found that the sills and studs in one part of the gym were rotting and needed replacing. All the lower siding on the gym needed replacing. Doors that had been blocked off, were sided in. Windows in the church needed to be replaced. One side of the school had never been finished, and there were many repairs needed at the back of the school. The eves troughs were falling off and needed to be reattached. The hot water tank needed to be moved to a more convenient location.
All of the buildings needed to be scraped and prepared for painting. Ken Trefz was out scraping paint at 5:30 every morning. John Hack brought his commercial power spray painter. While we had anticipated painting with rollers and paint brushes, John painted all of the buildings in three days. Because of his professional help, we completed the job two days earlier than predicted. The painters with brushes and rollers simply did the trim. Peter Penner did all of the high trim, from 20 foot long ladders and roof tops!
Brenda Hack, our cook, prepared delicious meals. Everyone on the team worked very hard, and gave their best effort to making this project a success.
We very much appreciated the kind hospitality and generosity of the Bella Coola congregation. They billeted our members, opened their hearts and homes to us. They sent wonderful fresh baked bread and buns to supplement the generous donation of bread from the Silver hills Bakery (in Abbotsford). They sent cookies and muffins and all the frozen fruit and vegetables that we could use. They supplied us with fresh eggs and potatoes. On Sabbath’s they put on generous potluck spreads. As well they loaned us tools, helped us break up cement sidewalks, and carted away rubble. They became our friends.
The teachers at the Bella Coola Adventist School had the children act out the word Thank you and took a picture, as well as sending us a picture of the children in the school.
Back row L-R Ed Zimmerman, Ken Trefz, Ed Oakley,Cameron Johnston, David Meservia, Charlie Kierstead, John Hack Front Row L-R Peter Penner, Ruthie Trefz, Jan Zimmerman, Shirley Oakley, Dawna Kierstead, Brenda Hack
Pastor Cameron Johnston organized the work into three phases, and stayed in the valley the entire time that SAGEBC was there. He gave us inspiring worship talks and helped out in many ways. He had purchased the paint and supplies necessary for completion of this phase before our crew arrived. He carried a large amount of garbage to the dump, purchased needed items, encouraging and uplifting us all, and so much more.
We the SAGEBC team completed Phase One. Everyone was tired- as they worked incredibly harder than one can imagine.
However we feel that the church group in Bella Coola was blessed. We know that they appreciated our efforts. We also were blessed as we got to know each other and to work together to help a small church achieve goals that would be difficult for a small congregation to attain.
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