If you have driven by Journey Church, formerly First Baptist Church, you have likely noticed this summer’s construction project. This project has been in the works for quite some time; the church has had a need to expand for several years. A previous expansion plan fell through for various reasons. Then, Journey purchased the old Alco lot. Leadership began planning work on that building, but in the end, the property was sold to Kwik Trip.

Since, Journey has purchased adjacent land and created a three-phase expansion plan. Summer 2020 brings with it Phase One. During the planning process, Journey leadership met with and then hired Lawrence Corley, the architect for the project. Corley heads the Builders for Christ (BFC) organization. BFC consists of dozens of church groups from all over the United States. Group leaders are able to see the projected plan for building and determine a week for their volunteer group to serve the church that is building. Journey church has been blessed to be on the receiving end of the project this year.

Teams volunteer for a week at a time as their summer mission trip, paying for their travel, lodging and food. Their willingness to serve is an inspiration. Not many people would be willing to pay to work hundreds of miles from home. It is a testament to their love of Christ and His Church.

As summer inched closer, Journey was concerned about the impact of the pandemic on the building process. Other BFC projects were canceled, but Journey decided to move forward with their project. Starting days were delayed in compliance with Wisconsin’s stay-at-home order. After the order was lifted, Journey was able to host their first group. Facemasks, sanitizer, and social distanced workspaces were provided for the safety of volunteers.

Thus far, Journey has hosted groups from Eau Claire, Green Bay and Milwaukee, as well as groups from Connecticut, Virginia, Missouri, Texas, Kansas, Kentucky, and Nebraska.

From insurance agents to teachers to electricians and more, each group brings with it an array of experience and knowledge. They are here to help Journey grow not only as a church, but also as a community.

Volunteers have gone above and beyond in their construction work and have established relationships with the surrounding community including the Amery Family Restaurant, who has provided breakfast for volunteers each morning, and Options for Women, the pregnancy center in Osceola.

The team from Texas brought a group who sewed 50 gift sets of a receiving blanket and two burp clothes each and donated them to the center. The group also sewed 60 drawstring backpacks, 19 yarn scarves, and 9 lap blankets that will also be distributed to community organizations.

Journey will continue to host volunteers throughout the summer in the hopes of completing Phase One near the end of September. If you would like to follow the process and read stories and testimonies of the work, check out journeyforwardblogspot.wordpress.com.

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