The sounds of hammers and saws echo throughout the hallways of Craver Cottage. In a few months, those noises will be replaced by the laughter of the girls who will call it home.
Since early August, North Carolina Campers on Mission (NCCOM) have been tackling a number of work projects at Craver Cottage located at Mills Home in Thomasville. The volunteers are using their skills to ensure that the cottage will be perfect for its future residents.
“We want it to be the place that God wants it to be for the girls who will be here,” says Bob Maple who is leading the effort for Campers on Mission.
Campers on Mission is a group of volunteers who love to travel and camp, but more than anything else, they desire to serve God no matter where their travels lead.
Maple has been a part of NCCOM for eight years, first becoming involved with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Maple’s wife Nancy serves as the email and membership coordinator for the North Carolina chapter.
For years, NCCOM have been involved with Baptist Children’s Homes assisting with inventorying and sorting donated items from the annual “Food Roundup.” The group has also helped improve the electrical hook-ups at the camping area at Mills Home, which NCCOM uses for their campers.
“Wherever we go, all we ask is for a place to hook up our campers,” Maple says.
Their desire to do more volunteer projects led to Craver Cottage.
“Their timing was perfect in regard to the plans for Craver,” says Regina Keener, BCH’s Thomasville Area Director. “All of our beds available for girls on the campus stay consistently full.
“Because of the work of Campers on Mission, Mills Home will have room for eight to ten more girls.”
Craver Cottage will be an emergency care residence for girls who are in immediate crisis and need a safe place to stay.
“Whatever time, day or night, we’ll be able to bring a girl into the cottage,” Keener explains.
Before the volunteers begin their work each day, they pray.
“We pray for the girls who are going to be here. We pray for the people who are going to be their houseparents,” Maple says. “We don’t know who any of them will be yet, but God knows.”
According to Maple, God has provided the right volunteers for the variety of cottage projects the group has tackled.
“He brings together the right people with the right skills,” Maple asserts. “Tommy does vinyl siding. Bill’s a carpenter. He and his guys installed the new windows. It’s amazing.”
In fact, the volunteers installed the cottage’s 74 new windows in one day. Everything from updating the lighting to painting and laying flooring, NCCOM has people with the abilities to do all that’s required.
“This takes good skilled labor. It’s hard work and you have to know what’re doing,” says volunteer D.C. Thompson. “Most of all, you have to be here for the Lord. He has us here and He is in control of it.”
“That’s what makes doing this project with Campers on Missions different – everyone is here because they want to be here,” Maple explains. “They’re doing it for Jesus and for the girls that we have been praying for since we began.”
NCCOM is already looking to future BCH projects that will include volunteer work at Cameron Boys Camp and then eventually back to the Mills Home. Plans are for Craver Cottage to open in Spring 2016.
“Craver Cottage is being prepared to minister to the girls who will come here,” Maple says. “We get to be a part of it. That’s a privilege.”
Would you like to get invovled with Baptist Children's Homes of North Carolina? Find out how your missions team or volunteer group can help at www.bchfamily.org/involved