Sometimes Even The Youngs Are Speechless

by Melanie | June 24th, 2013

Surprise RenovationSometimes even the Youngs are speechless. It’s rare,  I know, but it does happen!

Last night we drove up to our house, hours late, exhausted, but delighted to be home. We had just finished 8563 miles, 20 states, five conventions and more than a month away.

Our grown sons met us in the front yard. We thought they must be mighty excited to see us to come home and stay up til 1 am to greet us!

We stood in the driveway chatting when Caleb said, “Mom, you need to put on your glasses.” I was arguing with him when Hal suddenly said, “Wait a minute. What’s with the columns?” Those weren’t the columns we’d left on the house! Then he noticed the shining paint on the garage, and the boys broke down laughing.

While we were gone, our church, our incredible church family and friends, had completely renovated the exterior of our house!

Lots of folks on the roof and front

Our church, Southwest Wake Christian Assembly, is the best church we’ve ever been in for not just talking about being the body of Christ, but living it. We’ve seen church families take in needy strangers, come alongside families with cancer or other health problems, welcome a single mom into their home long term, and reach out to meet one another’s needs again and again. It’s a huge blessing to be a part of.

Lots of ladders

As we were preparing to leave on this trip, back in May, one of the men of the church offered to take care of our yard while we were gone. After we departed, he came by, noticed some work needed to be done on the house, and the Lord laid it on his heart to make sure it got done.

The remarkable thing, which he didn’t know, is how overwhelmed and discouraged we had been feeling. Our speaking schedule has been more crowded than ever before, we were straining to finish a book project, and keep up with all the other demands of business, ministry, and family. Although our family and ministry were well, our physical home was falling into disrepair, and we were wondering if we were just trying to do more than we were able. Did we need to just lay this ministry down and Hal go back to engineering?

Kevin supervising

The first Sunday we were gone, Kevin stood before the church and asked for a show of hands — how many had been blessed and influenced by the Youngs? Then he told them what he wanted to do …

Sawing under the dogwood

Over the next several weeks, our church family replaced all the siding on our house, repaired woodwork, powerwashed and repainted the house, trim and all, cleaned the roof, weeded and replanted all the flowerbeds, put down mulch, and even more.

Little Weathers Smiling

It was quite a testimony to our neighbors, too. They can’t stop talking about it!

No small thing

John Calvin, our eldest, said over 100 people came at one time or another to help. And still they managed a complete social media blackout (there were tales of Kevin warning the teenagers in church: “No Instagrams! None!”). As active as we are on Facebook and other channels, and as interconnected as our church is, we did not have the slightest hint all this was going on!

Several working at once

This is what the body of Christ is all about. We each take the talents he’s given us and we bless the body with them.

Irish Picnic

Our dear, sweet friend Carrie often comes to help with laundry. When Melanie was feeling sheepish over her latest offer to help, Carrie told her, “God hasn’t put me in a position where I can speak and write and help families like He has you. He has, however, given me many teenage daughters, and we can do laundry and free you up to do those other things.”

Men young and old

Angie and Jed said much the same thing.  ”We know what it’s like to need to do something but have no one to care for your pets – we’ve been there,” they said. “Let us keep your dogs.” And they have, all summer long.

Making it a party!

Angie and Jed and Carrie and Kevin and our entire church family are part of this ministry. They hold us accountable, they hold up our hands when we’re weak, they share some of our burdens to free us up for the work, they pray for us (and you!), they help us financially.

Waving from the roof

Every single one of them is part of what we do. The body of Christ working together as some hammer, some paint, some wash clothes, some write checks, some speak, to teach others about “Making Biblical Family Life Practical,” as our motto says.

Thank you, Father, that we don’t have to bear the burdens alone.

SWCA kids on roof


Thank You, Father, for our brothers and sisters in Christ and for their love for You and for us and for all the people we reach.

Have you ever been utterly surprised by God’s gracious provision for your family?

Hal and Melanie SugarLoaf Web (c)2009

Yours in the battle,

Hal & Melanie

  • Home School Adventure Co.

    Living it! God is so honored by your life and the love-in-action displayed by your church!

  • Daniel


  • Jen

    What a beautiful testimony! Now, please post a picture of the completed project for us. :-)))

    • Jimmy

      What I was thinking!!

  • Jennifer

    What a blessing and testimony! (insert sweet, joyful tears for you here.)

  • Debbie in Olympia, WA

    We recently made a move from California to Washington. We were so blessed by our friends who came and helped each in their own way. Your story touched my heart. I am so glad we have our heavenly Father who knows all of our needs. God bless you and your family!

  • bertajean

    What a blessing your brothers and sisters in Christ are!!! I’m praising along with you!

  • Rebecca B

    That is just AWESOME!!! What an absolute blessing and a beautiful portrayal of love all around you!!! Dancing for joy, full of praises with you!!!

  • Kim Kelly

    Wow! What an unbelievable blessing and affirmation… you ARE right where God wants you! We are weeping tears of joy with you- Brian and Kim

  • Emily

    That is AWESOME!!

  • Sharri

    So lovely! Wonderful labor of love! Made my day! :)

  • Wendy@Faith’sFirmFoundation

    What a great testimony! We, like you, received so much from the Body of Christ when I was going through cancer, but also many other times when our needs were far less serious, people have ministered to us. So thankful to God for His people. May you be encouraged every time you look at your house and think of this gift. (Can we get before and after shots?)

  • Sara

    What a beautiful testimony of the love of God’s people! We were “speechless” this weekend as we received a random check in the mail from a fellow church member toward our adoption! Love seeing God use His people, and it inspires me to be on the lookout for how I can serve!

  • BJMims

    Thank you for sharing this happy surprise. It was a joy to read.

  • JoAnna Godwin Parente

    Awesome! I am tickled pink for you all! :)

  • Angela

    Tears! This is what the “church” should look like! What an amazing story of His provision. Your church family is truly Jesus with skin on and I know that is a wonderful blessing to your ministry. I loved how your friend shared that God hadn’t gifted her to speak, but she is using what gift she has to help further God’s work. It takes every single part working together. Amazing story! Thanks for sharing.

  • Sandra in Phx

    We were blessed to hear you speak at the AFHE Convention a few weeks ago and I am DELIGHTED to see that while you were blessing our family with your seminars, someone was blessing YOU! GOD IS AWESOME, ain’t He?!?!

  • Rory

    All I could do was cry when I read this – oh how my heart yearns for the Lamb to receive the inheritance of His suffering…which is the hearts and lives of people so transformed that they not only talk it… but they live it too….I am crying now…again….what beauty….what a paradigm shift…from “me” to “Christ.” Thank you for this testimony…. we have also been surprised by the retardedly awesome provision …and the gorgeous person of Christ. Blessed be His name.

  • cs priddy

    I LOVE it when the Body of Christ IS the Body of Christ. All of us working together for the benefit of the whole Body. Praising God with you! ~CS

  • Kiley

    Typing with tears in my eyes. What a beautiful testimony. Thank you for sharing!

  • Alicia

    That is so awesome, how nice.

  • Inger

    wow. Tear Worthy!!!! What a blessing to be surrounded by loving believers reaching out to help one another in times of need. :)

  • Tracie Bauguess

    What a blessing! God is so good!

  • Lauren Lines

    Such a beautiful testimony. Gave me chills and tears to see the body of Christ, be hands and feet. :)

  • Cathy Jones

    What a blessing! God is so good!

  • Carmen

    This is sooo beautiful! This is what GOD had in mind! You all deserve this blessing as you have blessed so many others including my immediate family and our CHEO family (2012, it was great to meet you there!). Thank you so much! I am going to send this link to my church family!

  • Somethings Cookin

    Way cool!

  • Jen W

    What a blessing! I would love to see before and afters if you have them! :)

  • Kristina Best

    This story brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing. Would love to see a before and after shot!

  • Mrs. B

    Wow! Praise the Lord! That is an amazing body of brethren you are blessed to be apart of. God bless every hand that reached out while you were gone (and helps when you are home). We were very blessed by your coming to Idaho in June. We have also enjoyed your new book on marriage. My dh and I have been reading nearly every book available on marriage (primarily Christian marriage) for the past three years and your book is one we would surely recommend to any couple wanting to build a better foundation and take their marriage in God’s direction. Thank you and your family for following the Lord’s leading.

  • Irene Jackson

    I loved this when you told me about it, but the pictures add so much more! I’m so glad you had the opportunity to be blessed. It’s a great reminder every time you come home of God’s goodness in providing for us-both the friends who did the work and the actual work. :)

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