By Kara Witherow, Editor
Louis Miller had been homebound for nearly three months. A disabled Vietnam veteran, he doesn’t walk well anymore and uses a walker to get around. His wife, Patsy, has stage four metastatic breast cancer and is currently under hospice care.
The Millers use a ramp to get in and out of their Macon home, but it needed repairs to be safely used. They paid a contractor about $400 to fix it, but the work wasn’t done properly and their ability to get out of the home was severely limited.
But today, with the aid of a brand new 29-foot handicap ramp, the Millers can safely and easily get in and out of their home anytime they want. They also have a new storm door and a 6-by-6 porch off their front door.
It’s all because a few folks from Wesley United Methodist Church in Macon lent a helping hand.
“We can’t express how much this means to us,” said Louis Miller. “It helps us out a lot.”
Even though the Millers aren’t members of Wesley UMC, Rev. Josh Gale heard about their need and knew the congregation could help.
Church members and longtime friends Travis Moncrief and Richard Paul enlisted the help of Moncrief’s father, Danny Moncrief, a member of Lizella United Methodist Church, and within a few hours they had planned and designed the ramp and porch and made a list of all needed materials.
While none of the three men are full-time contractors or construction workers, they have each built more than their share of ramps, decks, porches, and other small structures. Their shared faith in Christ spurs them to serve, they said.
“I do this for my community, to help people,” Paul said. “Jesus tells us to go out. It’s all about Jesus as far as I’m concerned. If we didn’t have Jesus in our hearts we wouldn’t go out and do these things. Jesus is leading the way. It’s just what we do.”
The Millers paid for the materials and the congregation supplied the labor.
On a rainy, cold Friday afternoon, the old decking was torn off and new protective coating was placed on the home. By Sunday, the new storm door was installed and the ramp and porch were complete.
“We had tried for a while to find someone,” Miller said. It was hard to find someone reliable and trustworthy to do the work, and he and his wife were thrilled with the Wesley UMC team and their hardworking, fun, joyful spirit. “We appreciate all of these people who came out and helped us.”
Moncrief, Paul, and the rest of the team enjoy the fellowship that comes with helping others and try to live out the words of James 1:22.
“We want to show them that there are people out there who love Jesus and this is what they do for Jesus,” Paul said.
Rev. Gale is proud of the way the Wesley UMC congregation shares the love of Christ with its neighbors.
“It sure is a whole lot easier to speak about Christian love in the community when our little group is actively a part of it in such a tangible way,” he said in a recent Facebook post. “This doesn’t just sound like gospel – it feels like it.”