On a recent national news broadcast, Slidell, Lousiana, was featured in a national news story as a town that our nation has for the most part forgotten in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. But the congregation of East Side Grace Brethren Church in Columbus, Ohio, (Chip Heim, pastor) has not forgotten Slidell.
This weekend, 40 men and women from East Side GBC are leaving on a missions trip to Slidell to assist families in rebuilding their lives following the hurricane. The group is working with Roger Sidwell of the mission organization Life Lighters.
They will be helping various families who requested assistance from Life Lighters in the rebuilding of their homes. Roger’s cousins, Bob, Diane, and Josh Sidwell, and Danni Sidwell Rayer are active at East Side, and have participated in other missions trips sponsored by the church. Bob and Diane are going this time.
East Side senior pastor Chip Heim and children’s pastor Marty Ertel are among those going. Many of the individuals from East Side are skilled craftsmen who make their living in the building trades industry. For example, Bob Sidwell was the project manager in charge of the renovation of Chicago’s Wrigley Field, the project manager of a new terminal at Columbus’ international airport, and project manager of a 41-story office building in downtown Columbus, the Huntington Center.
Pastor Chip is extremely encouraged by the composition of the group. There are people going who are in their 20s as well as people who are over 65 years of age. Some of the group has gone on over a half-dozen mission trips at East Side, while others are going on their first. While in Slidell, the group from East Side will be staying at Faith Baptist Church of Slidell.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks to BMH board member Pat Phillips, a leader in the East Side GBC, for the “heads-up” on this story and for providing text.