By Nancy Gould
Special for the Effingham Herald
SPRINGFIELD – With the temperature hovering above 90 degrees, 66 volunteers rolled up their sleeves on June 8 for their first day of construction at Springfield United Methodist Church. Their mission was to convert a sea container into a medical clinic for women.
Men, women and teenagers started the two-month project which included more than 625 person-hours to transform a used $ 3,900 container into a fully functional four-room medical clinic to serve villagers in Ghana, in west Africa.
Several business owners within the church donated materials worth $ 7,910. Churches and individuals inside and outside the church also donated money.
With free labor and a lot of sweat, the final cost of the clinic upon completion was only $ 7,315.36.
Hope and Steve Shearouse, both SUMC members and retired Mission on the Move missionaries, led the project. They started by grouping volunteers, according to their skills and interests, in the fields of electrical work, construction, plumbing, insulation, solar installation, carpentry, flooring and paint.
The refreshment team volunteers were also present during the designated 15 working days, serving drinks and snacks to church members under a large tarp erected most of the time to provide some welcome shade.
Donna Bannister, deputy project coordinator, assisted the Shearous in areas in need. In addition to Hope’s detailed notes, she cataloged the daily progress of the project with photos that could be useful for future container renovations.
Bannister also took photos of about 20 church women who gathered in the homes to make 470 baby reception blankets, 600 reusable sanitary napkins for girls, 40 dresses, boys’ shorts and tote bags. for the African community. Others collected baby clothes, shoes, books and soccer balls with pumps.
Amy Morgan, director of SUMC’s children’s ministry, led the kids in a separate knockoff to collect donations of baby diapers, children’s and women’s underwear, and school supplies from friends and members of the family.
Morgan said the overarching goal of this project is to save the lives of babies who literally wouldn’t be saved without the clinic. He added, “God always places his workers in places where he wants them to serve.
Hope said, “God’s people are blessed as they serve with their time and resources.
“One of the things I loved the most was the chance to get to know the volunteers personally,” she added, noting that the project attracted talented and eager to help members – some with little involvement. in church activities before.