New Monroe Church is Latest SAGE Building Project

May 01, 2003 | Carrol Grady

Who says seniors can’t rough it? Leaving at midnight, Jan. 11, on a red-eye flight from Seattle, 32 SAGE members arrived in hot, humid Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic, the next afternoon. From there they were bussed to Camp Joyland, a Christian camp on the outskirts of the city, where they found rickety beds, cold showers, and a delicious dinner of haystacks prepared by Bev Grant.

Fortified with the cooking crew’s delicious meals and chaplain Fanny Ulsch’s inspiring devotionals, these young-at-heart “golden oldies,” whose ages ranged from 58 to 82, not only had the church finished except for plaster and paint by Tuesday of the following week, but also painted two other churches and built 19 pews.

Taking a break while the Maranatha crew did the plastering, SAGE members flew to Cuba to take part in the dedication of a church, for which SAGE had contributed $10,000, and to enjoy a little sight-seeing in Havana. They returned to Santo Domingo on Sunday and put in a marathon effort to finish painting and landscaping the church in time for its Monday evening dedication. They arrived back in Seattle with hearts full of rejoicing, tired and aching bodies, and memories to last a lifetime.

In the eight years since SAGE Washington was started, members have built nine churches and an orphanage dormitory as overseas Maranatha projects. Many extras, such as pews and landscaping, have been included. SAGE has also given substantial help on 12 church or school building programs within Washington Conference and completed numerous projects at Sunset Lake Camp.

Union-wide SAGE Project

Recently the Oregon and Upper Columbia conferences have started SAGE organizations that have already proved their usefulness. SAGE announced plans to sponsor a special, union-wide building project to frame the new Monroe Church in Washington Conference. Workers from around the union, including pre-SAGE-age friends, are invited to make plans to join in the fun June 30 through July 18. There will be room for RVs and tents at the building site, or workers can “camp out” at nearby Sky Valley School.

If you are interested, please contact project director Larry Goodhew, (509) 522-2387; •