John Davidson has played a key role in helping to change people’s lives.
Not only that but the people who attend First Baptist Church of Carthage, where Davidson pastors, as well as other churches in the Spring River Baptist Association, can say they have had a big part, too.
Davidson has put in long hours this week as the Joplin project coordinator for World Changers, an international ministry of LifeWay Christian Resources that each summer works to improve substandard housing.
For many it has not just been a matter of donating their time but, also, their money, as was evidenced in an announcement early this week by Rebuild Joplin.
A spokesman for the organization, which has helped build homes for Joplin tornado survivors for the last two years, said that $30,000 each has been donated by Carthage First Baptist and Forest Park Baptist of Joplin to the work of Rebuild Joplin.
Even though the donations were submitted by those two churches, in reality the money came from not only those two congregations but, also, from other churches and individuals connected with the SRBA to be used toward tornado relief.
In connection with the donations, student volunteers and adult leaders with World Changers arrived in Joplin on June 22 to do everything from building a house from scratch to doing all kinds of remodeling and repairs. Their jobs come to an end on Saturday.
Representing 13 churches from not only Missouri, but, also, Illinois, Indiana, Colorado, Tennessee and New Mexico, 238 students and adult leaders worked in temperatures mostly in the 90-degree range all week long, while taking up lodging at Calvary Baptist Church in Joplin.
When volunteers pack up on Saturday, they will either head home or leave for their next work site.
In the case of Brenna Fouts, missions and communications specialist with World Changers, she will be heading for the next mission at Little Rock, Ark. Fouts, who is from Illinois, is a student at East Tennessee State University.
She has gone to six World Changers camps during her high school and college years.
Davidson, who spent 37 years as a youth minister, said this marks the third straight year that Carthage First Baptist has been involved with World Changers.
“It is not because of the tornado that World Changers came to Joplin,” he said. “We were already on a site before the tornado arrived. We are committed to working in Joplin every year for five or six years. We are not just these volunteers that showed up because of this unique thing that happened with the tornado. It just happened to coincide with the tornado.”