Disciples Of Christ Helping Restore Homes And Lives

GULFPORT (WLOX) -- Senior volunteers from Georgia work together like a well oiled machine.

The Disciples of Christ find opportunity in their outreach. They began a week long mission trip Monday, helping rebuild a storm-damaged home in Gulfport, near Cowan Road.

"We love it. We love it from the time we leave, the camaraderie of being together, working together. All of us probably learn some new skills," said volunteer Bill Harrison.

Most of these workers are from a picturesque retirement community nestled in the mountains of North Georgia, about 100 miles north of Atlanta.

Frazier Coffie is making his third volunteer trip to the coast.

"We enjoy each other. The drive down everybody tells war stories. And we solve the problems of the world while we're down here working," he said.

The Georgia visitors are working alongside a retired couple from North Mississippi: Barbara and Mike Lee.

"I realized that it really was a ministry that we could do together in retirement," said Barbara.

"We've been down here since January of '06," said husband Mike, "It's been great. This is the best thing I've ever done in my life."

Katrina flooded the Nickerson home with four feet of water. Several teams of volunteers later, the rebuild is nearly finished.

"Oh, it's just an amazing blessing. Cause without them, I'm doing the work by myself. My husband works so many hours and it's just me. And we have three kids. So, it's kind of hard to do all that," says home owner Candy Nickerson.

She welcomed the Disciples of Christ volunteers late Monday morning.

"Hi. Thank you guys for coming!"

That heartfelt thanks is more than enough compensation for the visiting volunteers.

"A great sense of satisfaction. We're doing the right thing here. This is a good thing," said Mike Lee.

The First Christian Church of Gulfport is housing and feeding the volunteers.

The Disciples of Christ disaster recovery team has helped repair or rebuild dozens of homes along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.