By Elizabeth Varville, Correspondent
Every historic home as a story to tell. The homes that line Belton’s Main Street are no exceptions. Built in 1925, the home of Mike and Rosemary Randolph has a story with a remarkable happy continuation.
The Building Compassion organization specializes in supreme home makeovers for families in need. Based in Austin, the organization gathers sponsors and donors to accomplish an amazing service for homes in desperate need of repair. The Randolph’s home had no central heat and air, none of the windows worked properly, and the foundation was unstable.
“We get third party recommendations for people who are in need. The nominees must have served the community in some way, recently suffered from hard times, and do not have the resources to fix the issues themselves. We work with churches and organizations in the community we are currently servicing. Our corporate sponsor, McCoy’s, will donate several thousands of dollars for each project that we do over spring break. In addition, outside donors, local churches, and businesses will donate materials”, said organization co-founder Scott Lansing.
The organization began in 2007 from a desire to give college students an opportunity to “Build Compassion” in their communities.
“This is what I consider a mission trip. This helps me discover what mission trips are and what to expect. I’m interested in mental health and I have been to houses as a social worker that are cluttered, messy and unhealthy because of poverty issues. I do see myself doing this type of work in the future”, said junior, majoring in Social Work, Livia Lim. Lim is an exchange student attending the University of Texas in Austin.
The Randolphs are no strangers to assisting the needs of others in their community. The couple has served as pastors for over 25 years, 15 of the years as rodeo chaplains. They have come to know the spiritual needs of suffering individuals and they offer their guidance in times of despair.
On March 19 a portion of the finished renovations were revealed to the Randolphs; all the volunteers were present to see and hear the couple’s gratitude for all their hard work and dedication to the project.
“I fell in love with this house as soon as I saw it, not knowing anything about it. I still love this old house even with all its inconsistencies. It is more than just the house; we have precious neighbors as well. Thank you all so much. I just have to tell you when we entered the ministry there were so many family members that did not share in our decision. I remember my Dad saying, ‘You and Mike need to do what God has sent you to do’. I do not have any regrets. We made up our minds what we were going to do when God led us to do this (ministry). We counted the cost and over these 18 years we have put a lot of things on the back burner and you guys stepping in like you did, thank you so much. You know it’s not just the material things that I’m talking about but someone stepping in and saying we are going to do this for you. I can’t tell you what that means to me”, said Rosemary Randolph.
This project is another example of how people of the surrounding communities offer their support when called upon. The restoration for this project could not have been possible without the donations from churches and businesses that call our community home.
North Texas District Assembles of God Women’s Ministry provided the Randolphs with a brand new washer and dryer. Carl, Betty, and Brenda Atkins of Lampasas provided a gas oven, Rev. David Baze and Faith Assembles of God in Carthage supplied new cabinets, and Austin Custom Granite and Marble furnished a stainless steel sink with granite countertops to complete the updating of the kitchen.
Tile flooring for the bathroom, laundry room, and kitchen was donated by Karin and Tabitha Smith. McCoy’s replaced all 22 windows and Jim and Becky Hennesy and the Trinity Church of Cedar Hill donated the installation of the central heat and air. First Baptist Church of Belton housed all volunteers while Subway of Belton provided lunches.
Monetary donations equaling over $3300 were graciously given by McCoy’s, The University of Texas Chi Alpha, SPS General Contracting of Dallas, Rev. Kermit Bell and the Church of Glad Tidings of Austin.
For more information on the Building Compassions organization please visit www.buildingcompassion.org.