Missions at Salem

7 Oct 2012 by admin, Comments Off on Missions at Salem
Adult Mission Trip – Summer 2017

The 2017 adult mission team traveled to Melvin, Michigan, from June 25 through July 1, once again working with the local Habitat for Humanity office to help build homes for local residents.  For information about future trips, please call the church office at 847-381-0524.


                                        Salem members visited our veterans at the VA hospital                                             in North Chicago on Sunday, April 23  


Port Huron, Michigan, Mission Trip June 12 – 17, 2016

Two cars loaded with our tools with 3 volunteers began this trip on Sunday, readying for a Monday morning start—John Spurgeon, Sue Whitney and Jerry Jones. That morning brought an unexpected incident that required Jerry to go to the hospital, but we ensured his safety before going on later to the work site…. knowing Jerry was in good hands.

We began working with Pete, the temporary site coordinator from New Mexico, and the office of Habitat coordinated by Audree Mayhew. When we arrived, the outside shell of this house was up and inside stud walls were being put into place.  We continued that work to completion and then roofing and sheathing of the gables began.

The second night the additional 4—Belen Ashley, Julie Ashley, Karla Arroyo, and Vanessa Garcia, arrived at the Marysvile United Methodist Church, lead by Pastor Barbara Welbaum.  They were as excited and impressed as the rest of us with the gracious welcoming we received upon arrival from our hosts.  We had a designated refrigerator stocked with food, along with a counter loaded with fruit, munchies, cereals, and muffins.  There were daily goodie bags from the silly church mouse (mysteriously linked to Holly Sedwick, the church admin)!   Along with that, we had a full memo of all needed references, including the web site and password…ready in hand!  Of course, we brought our own luxurious air beds as normal.

We continued to monitor Jerry, whose wife and son were on their way to be with him. He was scheduled for minor surgery soon, to ease the problem.    This surgery occurred later in the week.   Jerry was much better and returned home with his wife about when we all left.

Showers were at an old sports complex/theater, so we were met there daily after work by the Director of Regional Habitat, Ernest, and walked behind stage to get there— had the whole place to ourselves.

Port Huron has a busy ship canal, which can be observed from the Maritime Center and the docents describe each freighter as it passes, with the destination, load, history…much of which can be learned on boatnerd.com if you choose Port Huron.  Fish and seafood in that town was good!

By the time we had left, Ashley, Julie, Vanessa and Karla had installed all the windows and doors, all the studs had been reinforced for hanging cabinets by them along with Sue and Jamie, the soon to be home owner in later August.   She has 3 young children and is really excited to be having a new home soon.  It was fun to be working with her shoulder to shoulder.  We even did an on-site redesign to allow double rods in the closet for her two boys….

With her farewell hugs in the morning, Rev. Barbara said she hoped we would be back again!

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 Brookport 2015 Mission Trip, July 12 – 18, 2015


Nine volunteers made their way to Brookport during our hot July weather this year, for another wonderful experience.    Volunteers were Belen Ashley, her daughter Julie, and friends Vaness Garcia and Karla Arroyo.  John Spurgeon and Jerry Jones joined us as well, along with Sarah Edwards, Pat Enders and Sue Whitney.

Again, as in 2014, we were working with Over the Bridge Ministries and stayed at Metropolis Methodist Church.

We worked with Joe Benberry, a general contractor who is also the pastor at the Metropolis Baptist Church.  Joe has been a wonderful person to work with and we wish there were more houses to work on.   The last, the 22nd, is being finished in September.

This year we were building a house for Charles and Sharon Schnaare, who suffered much damage to their home during the recent tornado.  When we arrived the first mudding on the walls had been applied, so with much effort and serious guidance from Jerry, we worked on the walls and got them primed so they looked really nice.  Siding was done and also some internal trim was primed and cut.  Charles and Sharon came to visit us almost daily, and sometimes brought us goodies….(donuts, and home made fudge!)  They continued to express their gratitude….

We were lucky to have the chance to see Mary and  Raymond’s houses that we worked on last year.  We stopped enroute from lunch one day to see the place, and were welcomed by Raymond.  It was great to see the houses completed and people living in them now.  We had just returned to our new work location when up sped someone in a car and jumped out.  It was Mary, the other homeowner we helped last year, who was not there when we stopped, but had been told we were there and followed us to our new location to thank us for all the work we did last year.  It was a special treat to see her again this year.

The ladies who served us lunch each day were also becoming friends.   One of these newfound friends invited us to see her recently completed house to replace her destroyed one.  She had been living elsewhere for more than a year before she could move in.  What a gracious woman and just one more person we were happy to get to know.

See what our team worked on this year below!

Brookport 2015dBrookport 2015gBrookport 2015fBrookport 2015eBelen, Pat and SaraBrookport afterBrookport 2015


Mission Trip to Brookport IL June 22 – 28, 2014

Nov. 17 was one of the largest November tornado outbreaks in eight years that tore across the Midwestern. One deadly EF3 tornado hit Brookport in Massac County Sunday with winds of 145 mph. There were four deaths, including a 14 year old boy whose grave site was less than 200 feet from where we worked.hearts

One of the trailers blown off it’s foundation belonged to Mary Warfield, who will soon be living in a new home off Unionville Road that our 5 volunteers worked on during our trip this year. We spent time with Mary and she is truly appreciative of the effort that has gone into rebuilding. Three of the four walls are sided now due to our work. Raymond is her brother in law and lives next door with his wife Marcina. They will be living in the new adjacent home that we put the porch on the first day we were there. Raymond was always there to see if we needed his shovels, verify the electrical was hooked up ok, or just to admire our work or trade fried green tomato recipes.group and owners<a

We had great hospitality from Pastor Jeff Bealmear, of the First United Methodist Church of Metropolis. Yes, we stayed just down the road from the Daily Planet and home of Superman!IMG_20140624_155815_103

There were many important people that helped made our work a joy. Joe “Brookport”, pastor of a local Baptist church, could work a Ditch Witch as well as anyone. Joe “Habitat” could add advice on how to work around tough issues. And there was Terry English, Methodist pastor from Kentucky who could sing country music beautifully, and gave a couple CDs to us of music he had written and sung.

Much was accomplished by this year’s volunteers—Sarah Edwards, Ken Kudla, Pat Enders, John Spurgeon, and Sue Whitney. Maybe next year you can have the satisfaction and enjoyment of helping people like Raymond, Marcina and Mary!


Mission Trip to New Jersey – Superstorm Sandy Recovery – June 2013
Group pictureSue shoveling floor

broken hammer HaleyDanielle sawing

Nine current and past members of our congregation traveled to New Jersey June 8 & 9, and spent the following 5 days working with the Greater New Jersey Conference Superstorm Sandy Recovery, A Future with Hope. We worked on a home ½ block from Raritan Bay, between NJ and NY, where 15 ft. surges devastated much of the shoreline and famous boardwalks. Even though houses appeared to be OK, inside there was severe mold damage. Much of the preliminary clean up and tear down of homes had already occurred, but the eerie site of many empty lots, with only the driveway intact, helped us understand the extent of what had occurred.
Don on floor boardsfilling garbage truckhuge pile of debrisJohn S. carrying tub

large pile of debrisPat blue shirtRenee standing on bucketSarah measuring insulationRick and Don facing

The Old First United Methodist Church hosted our group, and it was there we met Rev. Boyle, along with key members of the church at a welcome dinner upon arrival Sunday. Marty Garland and is wife Gloria, were gracious hosts for us almost every night. Their story is one of a trying waiting period, as their family home along the seashore still stands, but must have major work to have mold remediated and the house raised, if the structure can withstand the activity. Still they do not know. Bill Strong became a loyal worker alongside us daily and had the key to the basement museum in the basement of the Fellowship Hall, which was a real treat one late night.
West Long Branch church

There were many wonderful people we met: John Johnson, our wonderful project manager, who ensured we had what we needed for our work, and Lou Strugala, the Regional Manager who covered the whole NJ coastline for GNJC and showed us the unforgettable shoreline effects. Sheila, at Dunkin Donuts, was a gem who daily put up with our need to take our biological breaks at her facility near our work, since their were no complete walls in the house during our work. We were welcomed and thanked everywhere were went. We all felt we received so much in this experience!

tired menRick, Gloria Marty & Renee



For more information on mission opportunities, or for questions, please call the church office at 847-381-0524.



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