06/27/04 — Goldsboro Habitat gets boost from out of state

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Goldsboro Habitat gets boost from out of state

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on June 27, 2004 2:04 AM

Two crews of teen-agers from Wisconsin and Delaware spent last week building houses in Goldsboro for Habitat for Humanity.

Teens on a mission from Appleton, Wis., were framing a house at 103 Winslow Place off South John Street, and the other group, with nine teens and five adults, was returning for the third time from St. Andrews Lutheran Church in Dover, Del. They were finishing the inside of the house at 102 Winslow Place.

The house being framed will go to the Edward and Maria Ortiz family. The one being finished will go to the Gary and Wanda Truzy family.

Will Harron, 15, with the group from Dover, is on his first missions trip. "It's fun," he says. "You learn new things, meet new people, help others."

One of the adult advisers, Gary Knight, was with the group last year and the previous year. Before that, he was on mission trips to Tarboro and Princeton.

"This is my seventh year," says Knight, who is on the church's Youth Ministry Committee.

All but two of the nine teens from Dover were on the Goldsboro trip last year. Three returning 15-year-olds, Tyler Levins, Julia Robinson and David Knight, lean against the rails on the deck for a rest.

Two of the advisers, Tom Kennedy and Amy Pierce, join them on the deck for a moment. Kennedy and Pierce are on their sixth missions trip.

"It's absolutely wonderful working with Bill Edgerton," said Ms. Pierce, referring to the president of Habitat for Humanity of Goldsboro Wayne County. "We've worked with him three years. He's extremely accommodating, has everything ready."

Kennedy says he likes the way Edgerton brings the group together with the homeowners and introduces them to Habitat board members.

Two other advisers, Hazel Partridge and Diane Kiefer, are back at the First Baptist Church taking care of the food and laundry. Kennedy and Pierce say they give major support to those back at the job site.

Randy O'Brien, youth pastor of Christ's Church of the Valley at Appleton, and a few adults brave the mid-day heat to raise some walls, while a group of the teens takes a break in the air-conditioned van. He has 18 altogether on the trip, six adults and the rest teen-agers.

One of the parents, Jenni Hottman, is a chaperone. Her daughter, Nicole, is one of the builders.

"It's fun," says Nicole Hottman. "This is not my first trip. We went to Haiti as a family, and I went with my mother to Tennessee."

Last year on the building mission to Tennessee, Nicole had not been allowed to work at the job site. She was only 12 at the time.

Last week, she was a "hammer hacker." She helped install the floor.

Her mother says she's a "master nailer." While she used to take 40 swings, she now takes 10.

This is the Wisconsin teen group's first mission trip in America, she said. They have been to Mexico to help build churches and homes.

The Wisconsin group arrived Saturday and plans to leave this morning. Those from Delaware arrived Sunday and headed for home Friday afternoon. Edgerton says he thinks it's special that the groups have taken a week off to work for Habitat in Goldsboro.