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Extreme Home Makeover—Dresden Edition


Twenty-four young people from Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Ontario put their noses to the grindstone to transform a home for a woman and her daughter.

The youths were involved in a weeklong SERVE project. SERVE is a program of Youth Unlimited that helps Christian Reformed young people grow spiritually by putting their faith into action.

Clara Browning’s modest two-bedroom home in the small southern Ontario town of Dresden was chosen for the SERVE project by the host church. Workers, including local trades people, donated their services and gutted the home right to the studs on the walls. Today the home has new windows, doors, kitchen cabinets, a new bathroom, drywall, fresh paint, new floors, carpet, and vinyl, a new heating system, and furniture.

“Nothing can describe the transformation except that it’s extreme,” said Brenda Goodreau, SERVE coordinator. While the job was massive, Goodreau says the team took little steps in faith and “prayers were answered” as donations and offers to help poured in.

Browning becomes emotional when she thinks about what the SERVE participants and their leaders did for them. She calls this her “big blessing.” And she’s not sure how to show the depth of her appreciation. “How can you just say thank-you? It seems so little.”

But for SERVE participants like Melissa Braunschweig, 14 (above), of Living Hope Community CRC in Wisconsin, there is no need for thanks. “It’s just really cool that everyone can come together and make a difference for this lady and her child.

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