Love Augusta is a program in my town, Augusta, Kan., supported by seven area churches where yards are cleaned up, mowing is done and even some light construction is completed. It is a way for men and women from these churches to show Christ’s love in a tangible way.

Most projects scheduled for Love Augusta were washed away by the rain Saturday morning.

Love Augusta is a program in my town, Augusta, Kan., supported by seven area churches where yards are cleaned up, mowing is done and even some light construction is completed. It is a way for men and women from these churches to show Christ’s love in a tangible way.

I got the opportunity to help with one of a few projects that were completed Saturday. The rest have been rescheduled because of rain.

I helped a man named Dan Allen and his youngest son build a porch for a woman who really needed one. A Catholic and a Baptist built a porch for a woman who attends Life Church. It has nothing to do with denomination. It has everything to do with the one thing every denomination has in common.

Allen wanted three children. His wife wanted six. They both got their wish. I don’t know any of their other children, but if they are anything like 6-year-old James, they have a great household. That kid stayed their all day. From 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., he only took two real breaks: lunch and the irresistible force known as the Ice Cream Man.

When Allen asked me if I had any carpentry experience, I told him I did not. I spent about eight hours Saturday proving it. He finally got me set up with the screw gun and put me to work.

Allen turned a pile of lumber into a great porch without much help. It was comforting working with the city inspector because he has more than three decades of construction experience and knows every code by heart. He cut boards to fit and told me how to put them together. James worked right along with me, holding spacers and delivering tools and screws. He was still going strong after the final pieces were in place and we had to clean up the scraps and put away the tools.

If he were 16, I would have been impressed. But not many 6-year-olds can put in that day’s work without whining, complaining or getting bored.
The little guy loved working with his dad and the smell of freshly cut lumber. Father’s Day was still a few hours away, but you could tell Allen was proud of all nine of his kids.

I have to believe they feel the same way about him. Every year, he takes a group from St. James Catholic Church to work with Catholic Heart Camp missions doing construction projects for people who need the help.

Love Augusta gives him a chance to bring that same spirit to the town where he lives and works. I have known Allen for about five years. I see him at least every couple of weeks at city council meetings. But I got to see a side of him that had always been there but had been hidden from me until Saturday.

The rain washed out most of Saturday’s Love Augusta plans. But I am so glad I got pushed away from mowing into a job I was really bad at. I got to know Allen and help with a project that will make a long-term difference for one of our neighbors.

I would encourage you to participate in similar opportunities in your area. You will do jobs for others, but something tells me you will get far more out of it than the people you help. I know I did.