A shot from the Michigan Conference Youth Dept. video promoting Fieldwork. On July 28, members will fan out across Detroit to help with home repairs and other services.
The Youth Department and Ministerial Departments of the Michigan Conference are preparing to mobilize across the City of Detroit to provide substantial assistance to homeowners in need. This bold endeavor, dubbed “Fieldwork,” is an opportunity to build lasting friendships with people in a town that, although it’s on the road to recovery, still needs significant boosts in infrastructure, education, law enforcement, and most importantly, gospel presence.
Michigan Conference Youth director, Chad Bernard, indicated that Fieldwork was born out of his belief that young people genuinely want to help those within their spheres and positively change the world. Fieldwork and similar projects can be channels to say to those who are looking wistfully toward something better, “We care about you and love you.” As their confidence grows, our offer of something better — nay, the Best, Jesus Christ — will drip with more substantive credibility.
Fieldwork will take place during the final weekend of July. On that Sabbath (July 27), participants will unite in worship and fellowship with the members of the Metropolitan Church in Plymouth. There will be a concise training session mid-afternoon, followed by the formulation of teams of five and initial disbursement throughout the neighborhoods.
All five members of a given team will share the responsibilities of general labor. Additionally, two of the members will carry certain designations: foreperson and connector. The foreperson, typically the one with the most extensive handy skill set and aptitude for repairs, will be the first person to meet a family, assess their renovation needs, and ensure that the team purchases the proper materials. The connectors will be the relational liaisons between their teammates and the families they are serving.
Although Bernard expects some influx from all over the state, most participants will likely be Detroit-area residents; the connectors also will need to possess this prerequisite because their roles will continue beyond late July. They will nurture these new bonds for weeks, months and, hopefully, years to come.
The work boots will hit the ground Sunday as the teams return to their assigned homes to begin and (presumably) complete the requested projects requested. Afterward, the entire Fieldwork staff will gather together to cap off the weekend with testimonies and prayer.
More information is available at www.fieldwork.love. Registration is still open. For those geographically, circumstantially or otherwise precluded from active participation, financial involvement is a viable option. To clarify, although this venture is youth-driven, it is by no means youth-exclusive. Anyone who is closer to retirement than graduation yet wants to get his or her hands dusty and dirty for a wonderful cause is invited and welcomed with open arms.