Salk Summer Project begins
Written by Mallory D. Biering   

Earlier this week, over 100 teenagers and adults from across South Carolina came to Trinity United Methodist Church in Bamberg to begin the Salkehatchie Summer Mission Project, which consists, "of different cultures," coming together to "upgrade housing, motivate community cooperative efforts by helping persons to help themselves, and providing all participants with opportunities for personal growth and service."

The 25 different churches coming together for the mission service, will work on seven different homes in order to physically improve them, while reaching out to the homeowners and their families through daily devotionals.

Charlie Bellamy and Grey Pregnall, the two men in charge of the Salkehatchie Summer Service project in Bamberg County, said that for 16 years the community has come together to make this week such a success. "We would like to thank churches, local business, City and County of Bamberg," because without all them, [we] wouldn't be able to do what [we] do each year. "It's truly a community effort," said Bellamy.

Each day the service team wakes in time to eat breakfast and be onsite by 6:45am. The volunteers work all day, with three breaks, to make sure any repairs that need to be done are completed. Pregnall explained that when the volunteers begin working, more problems are sometimes discovered, especially when the floor or walls are removed to show electrical or plumbing work.

However, despite any problems found, the teams work through the obstacles and have faith knowing, "He'll take care of whatever problems they may encounter." For example, Bellamy shared a story of when a home one team was working on needed a new roof. Once the roof was completely off, exposing every item owned by the homeowner, it began to rain. Everything the woman owned was ruined. The teenagers felt defeated and began to cry, that is until the homeowner pulled them together and said, "Babies, it's just things."

The youth come together, and learn how to solve problems by working together and keeping faith in what may seem like an impossible situation. By working together, these groups are able to finish what may take a contractor a week to finish, in two days.

When a person participates in the summer service they leave with more than what they brought, just like with any service done for God, explained Bellamy. "If you've ever seen hope restored in someone's life, who didn't have it before, then it's all worth it."

For more information about how to become involved in the Salkehatchie Summer Mission Projects you can call Trinity United Methodist Church, or visit http://www.salkehatchie.org/home/.