Courtney Spink of New Hope Baptist Church in Watertown, N.Y., was only 17 the last time she came to Neptune, N.J., to participate in a World Changers project. The opportunity to come back and help the couple she'd grown to love all those years ago was too good to pass up.
"I didn't think I'd ever come back here," said Spink, who served as a crew chief at this year's Neptune World Changers project. "And I didn't think the Scotts would remember me."
But the Scotts have never forgotten any of the young people who made such an impression on the couple.
"I was so very pleased to see Courtney," Charles Scott said. "I love to be around these young people. They are just like family.
"We hear so much bad things about young people today. But these students are different," Scott said. "They are nice, decent and respectful. Their parents are to be commended."
Spink is one of 600 students and adults who participated in the combined Neptune World Changers and P2 Missions project July 6-13. With 61 crews and approximately 100 work sites, the Neptune project was the largest this summer. The work consisted of cleanup and repairs from Superstorm Sandy, Backyard Bible Clubs, home improvements such as painting and building wheelchair ramps and community projects.
Two crews started work at the Scotts' house on Monday morning. One crew worked on building a wheelchair ramp, while Spink's crew painted the weather-beaten house.
"Building a wheelchair ramp is going to help them so much," Spink said, standing near a patch of orange dragon lilies. "Anna can't navigate the steps with her walker to get out of the house, and she really wants to see her flower gardens."
Charles Scott, 87, is thankful for the assistance he's received from the World Changers crews.
"We've been fortunate to have them come and do what they're doing," he said. "They've taken care of a lot of repairs around the house. And the ramp is really going to help both of us. We are so pleased to be associated with folks like World Changers."
The Scotts, who will celebrate 62 years of marriage in December, have lived in the cozy bungalow since 1961. They've celebrated five decades of birthdays, anniversaries and holidays with their three children. The wall above the sofa in the living room is a family tree of photographs from generations past and present.
"Being able to give myself completely to God and allow Him to use me this week has been such a blessing," Spink said. "Every time I've done World Changers, I've come home changed."
The Scotts' house on 6th Avenue is a little brighter today. A fresh coat of yellow paint is enough to cheer Charles and Anna. And the new wheelchair ramp extending from the front porch is a much-needed blessing. But it's the friendships -- new and rekindled -- that have really warmed their hearts.
Carol Pipes is a writer for LifeWay Christian Resources. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
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