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Warrior builders fulfill dreamscomment (0)

October 3, 2002

Braving 90-plus degree heat, monsoon-type rains and a hailstorm, the Dream Builders Mission Team from Smoke Rise Baptist Church in Warrior fulfilled the dreams of two churches. And it all happened during a 13-day, 1,500-mile missions trip to Gallup, N.M.

Smoke Rise members had been involved in several construction projects through Builders for Christ and with other groups from Georgia and Texas but had never attempted a project of their own design.

So the church, under the leadership of Pastor Sid Cottingham, began praying for God’s guidance in choosing a project and destination.

Having previously worked on projects at a Navajo Reservation, the church had a special place in its heart for the Navajo of New Mexico.

Needing more space

At the same time, Oakridge Fellowship in Gallup was looking for a solution to its need for more space.

The Navajo congregation of 150 led by Pastor Eddie Rodriquez had outgrown its two previous facilities: an outdoor pavilion the church first met in and a building constructed in 2000 by a Houston, Texas, church group.

The dreams of the two churches began moving toward fulfillment when Smoke Rise made contact with Andrew Begaye of Gallup. Begaye acted as a liaison, alerting Smoke Rise to Oakridge’s need.

An initial scouting trip was made in March by minister to senior Adults Randy Wiginton and his wife, Barbara, and the churches began planning.

Support grew among the members of Smoke Rise as the congregation committed to collecting a special offering to pay for all the building materials needed to build a 32-by-50-foot fellowship hall.

Even the church’s children got in on the fund raising as all money given to the Vacation Bible School offering was designated for the fund.

When the day for traveling came, 52 Smoke Rise youth and adults led by Wiginton and youth minister Stephen Hall traveled to Gallup. They worked together to build the fellowship hall, conduct Vacation Bible Clubs and sports clinics. They also made improvements on housing at the reservation and the property of Native Bible Church, where the youth of Smoke Rise stayed.

Volunteers from the church worked with the Dreambuilders through the heat, rain and hail to complete the fellowship hall within five days. The youth were even able to paint the new addition so it would be ready for use the following Sunday.

While the construction was going on, Oakridge held a camp meeting under a tent beside the site. They met three times a day and 17 people accepted Christ. Oakridge invited the Smoke Rise team to the baptism on Friday, which took place in what was available — a horse trough.

Although three states apart, the churches bonded together as they witnessed God’s power in the work that fulfilled their dreams.

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