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Extreme Makeover Surprise

May 27, 2022

Can you think of a time when everything around you was chaotic? Maybe, in the middle of painting or remodeling, you had to store furniture and other items in rooms where they didn’t belong. Perhaps you were in the middle of a relocation, with packing materials everywhere, and your belongings in a box “somewhere.” Maybe things were simply a mess. The housework had backed up, and now you were looking at dishes in the sink and a pile of laundry on the table without the time or energy to do much with either one.

We’ve all been there. It can be challenging to be focused and productive in such circumstances. It’s also hard to find a little rest when everything around us is in chaos. Sadly, the teachers at Adams Elementary School knew that struggle all too well.

“Friends of Adams,” a ministry started by Bill and Diann Wichman, was born out of their love for the Lord and St. Louis. The ministry provides books, supplies, financial support, and fosters genuine community in support of this elementary school in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood. As the various pandemic-related restrictions began to ease, Friends of Adams wanted to help the school community however they could, and one need quickly rose to the top of the list.

The teacher’s lounge at Adams Elementary School—a room meant to be a space for rest and recovery—was in a state of disrepair. The furniture was broken, the cabinets unusable, and the room doubled as storage space for miscellaneous pieces of office equipment.

With compassionate hearts and generous spirits, Friends of Adams developed a plan for an extreme makeover of the teacher’s lounge. Done in secret during the school’s spring break, the team set about selecting and purchasing new furniture and decor. On Friday, March 18, a few workers went in to pull out the old machinery, clean the floor, and prepare the room for the cleaners, decorators, and furniture delivery. The very next day, the "extreme makeover” kicked into high gear. Fifteen volunteers came ready to work, and in short order, what had been an uninviting space turned into a beautiful, relaxing area for the faculty and staff to enjoy.

When the teachers returned after spring break, there were predictably shocked and tremendously grateful. One teacher said, “Thank you so much for the time, effort, and generous funding provided to sprucing up our teacher’s lounge! It was an amazing surprise to come back and see such a beautiful transformation. There was a vibration of excitement when we walked into the building.” The new and improved teacher’s lounge is now comfortably available for Adams staff to enjoy whenever they need a break during the day. Melissa Schmuke, a kindergarten teacher at Adams, said the space now feels “absolutely beautiful, welcoming, and warm. Thank you for supporting teachers in some of the hardest years we have had in our careers!”

While the Friends of Adams volunteers worked on transforming the faculty’s space, their efforts were also an example of the transformative work God is doing at and through Central. The teachers at Adams were blown away by the generosity and care exhibited, and the volunteers enjoyed serving together. Kathy Silber, one of the volunteers, said, “It was a beautiful example of the body of Christ using their special gifts to complete a much-needed gift for others.”

Sacrificial missions and sincere community are but two of the ways we pursue transformation through Christ. Ministries such as Friends of Adams help to make it easy for you to get involved. If you would like to learn more about how you can help volunteer with projects like this, contact Pastor Ben. He would love to share with you some of the many opportunities to make a difference through local missions and outreach!

Watch the reaction to their new space (more photos coming soon!):

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