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Six Mile congregation helps family in crisis build housecomment (0)

January 29, 2009

By Megan Norris Jones

When Henry and Carol Grimes bought some property and started building a house in the Six Mile community in Bibb County, they were looking for “a little community where people help each other,” Carol Grimes recalled.

That’s exactly what the couple found — particularly among the members of Six Mile Baptist Church, which sits less than a mile from their home.

But it wasn’t until their lives changed in an instant that they understood the magnitude of that blessing.

It was three years ago Feb. 1 that the couple’s son Dustin came over to help with the house’s construction. He was working on the roof, and no one is exactly sure what happened next. His mother just remembers seeing him lying on the ground. He had a spinal fracture and is now a quadriplegic.

Life became a whirlwind of doctor visits and working with Dustin Grimes’ changed abilities.

First his two children, Kayln, now 14, and Gavon, now 13, moved in with their grandparents. Next he moved in.

The house still was not completed, and the temporary trailer Henry and Carol Grimes had set up for themselves while building the house became the base of operations for a household of five, one of whom needed a wheelchair for mobility. The family took up residence in the partially constructed house, and Carol Grimes began attending Six Mile Baptist with her grandchildren for the simple reason that she needed a church home and it was the closest.

“They have just been, as far as a church family, absolutely wonderful,” she said of the Bibb Baptist Association congregation.

After Pastor Bob Hope visited the Grimeses and realized the difficulties they were facing, he led the congregation, along with members of the community, to take action. Step by step, as they raise money or receive donated materials or time, church members are helping Henry and Carol Grimes complete construction of their home and provide a comfortable place for themselves, their son and their grandchildren to live.

They have put up siding, put in a water meter, laid pipes to the house, insulated some of the rooms and even built an additional room for Dustin Grimes, whose hospital bed had been located in the future kitchen.

“It has just been a good response from the people in the community, from Six Mile Baptist Church and from God,” said Jimmy Jones, a church member who has been active in the construction project.

Carol Grimes said he showed up at her home just the other day with a door to replace the curtains separating her son’s bedroom from the rest of the house.

“For such a horrible accident, we have been blessed well over what anyone could have expected,” she said of the work that has been done on her family’s home.

Six Mile Baptist members see the project as something that offers reciprocal benefits. “They got the siding put on the house, but I got the pleasure of seeing the siding put up,” Jones said.

Carol Grimes said she hopes to be able to return the favor to someone else in need in the future. She sees that give-and-take as essential to being part of a community of believers.

“We can’t do it by ourselves, and we can’t do it without God’s help,” she said.

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