Sharing the gospel, one shuttter at a time

LIMA — A fire that started just a few years ago continues to shine a light throughout Lima.

Local organization Community Relief hosted its annual “Ignite Lima” from Wednesday through Saturday. Volunteers, as a part of the ministry, give back by helping community members with home repairs and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“We really just want to love people the same way Jesus did when He walked this earth,” said Community Relief Director Matthew Naylor. “He did that by going around and having compassion, and He shared truth while He did that. But He mainly just loved. That’s what we’re going to do to share the love of Christ with people then, ‘Oh, by the way, we’re going to help with your house.’ Our main objective and our main goal is to love the homeowner.”

Naylor said the organization receives referrals or requests for help. The ministry then evaluates the home and makes a plan.

“Once you start doing something, word gets around,” Naylor said. “We get phone calls and referrals from Area Agency on Aging or Habitat for Humanity. We got to work together with other agencies, but it’s mostly word of mouth. There’s no shortage of needs. We started out with 87 projects at the beginning of the week.”

Ignite Lima is not the only effort of the organization. Community Relief will host events in Van Wert and Troy soon to complete the same mission work from fixing roofs, landscaping and even plumbing.

“We try to empower people to become missionaries in their own backyards,” Naylor said. “A missionary is somebody who loves to serves the community they’re in, in order to affect the Gospel-centered change — and bring that missions trip atmosphere here. They don’t have to go overseas or spend a lot of money to go serve people in need there to people in need.”

Naylor said most recipients are overwhelmed to receive, with no expectations in return. One homeowner received a new roof Thursday afternoon.

“They’re repairing my garage roof,” homeowner Kenneth Skonieczny said. “There’s a new roof going on there. The old roof has been on there for 40 years. It was time to have some repairs done with it, and that’s what they’re doing today. For being retired and being my age, I wouldn’t be able to do that. If I tried to do it, I’d probably hurt myself. These volunteers from this ministry of Ignite are doing a wonderful job.”

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Reach Precious Grundy at 567-242-0351.