Brewster Gets Face-lift Thanks to Spokane Valley Youth

The Brewster (Wash.) Church sparkles with renewal thanks to a mission-minded crew of volunteer teens, pre-teens and several adults from the Spokane Valley Church who descended on Hospital Hill with brushes, rollers and determination one Sunday in June.

For about three years, a group of kids from Spokane Valley Adventist School have been meeting on Monday evenings for Bible study and brainstorming. Recently they contemplated how they could be of service and dreamed of mission outreach to help build churches for Hispanic congregations.

With encouragement from moms Debbie McConnachie and Rene McCune, youth pastor Brian Reed and retired industrial arts teacher Conrad Thomas and his wife Marilee, ideas gelled. Word filtered in that the Brewster Church really needed a paint job, which was on hold as they finished paying for their recently installed roof.

Excitement grew and grateful Brewsterites, with their pastor, Gordon Smith, arranged sleeping quarters at the school and gym while Kay Hanson rounded up food and helpers to provide a daily main meal (the work crew used the school kitchen for fillers). The locals welcomed wonderingly such a gift of young energy and dedicated leadership.

A number of dads and other helpers joined the group for the Sunday start. Of the 4l visiting volunteers, 21 boys and girls hailed from Spokane Valley, 150 miles from Brewster.

High reaches were painted by adults from a rented lift. Courageous mom Lynae Martin and Steve Eilertsen led a crew giving the adjacent community services building a matching coat.

Threatening rain held off as kids rolled, brushed, cleaned, learned, persisted and did a great job.

And it wasn't all work. Monday eve, local folks joined the crew for a picnic supper and water skiing for those still overflowing with energy. Rumors floated that there was later a pillow fight at the school. Sunday's dinner was "special request Mexican" served by Hispanic cooks.

Weary but determined painters worked a few hours past their anticipated departure time but waved triumphant goodbyes as the last of the crew headed away from the sunset, back to Spokane—mission accomplished.

September 01, 2004 / Upper Columbia Conference
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Verona Schnibbee, Brewster Church communication leader