Getting a fresh start

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Extreme makeovers aren&8217;t just for television audiences, a similar project is taking place in Alabaster. Lorene Ferline and her two sons lived for almost three years in a tarp covered home with no indoor plumbing but by this summer the family will open the door to a new life.

&8220;People will come by and see me at work and tell me &8216;Lorene, your house is looking so good,&8217;&8221; Ferline said. &8220;Words can&8217;t express how much we appreciate what they have done.&8221;

Ferline said the house became so ill-repaired because her sons were both in too poor physical condition to do the work themselves. Dr. Neil Knierim at the First Baptist Church in Alabaster said the project came out of a discussion with Mayor David Friggs about sub-standard housing. The church initiated the opportunity to help the Ferlines but had no idea what the project would become.

&8220;It has been a remarkable experience,&8221; Knierim said. &8220;The story is not to point out individuals but to give God the glory. It shows that people want to do something but they just don&8217;t know who needs help.&8221;

The effort crosses denominations with volunteers from Kingwood Church, First Presbyterian Church of Alabaster, First United Methodist Church of Alabaster and the Alabaster Church of God. The &8220;Alabaster Church,&8221; as the churches call themselves, is rebuilding the family&8217;s life by rebuilding their home.

Until the new house is complete the family is living in a home provided by the First Baptist Church. The builder of the project, who wished to not be named, said construction is steadily moving along.

&8220;We&8217;ve gotten a lot of donated materials and labor and contributions to buy materials. Right now the decking is up on the roof and we hope to finish and have them moved into their new home in the next two months.&8221;

Homeward Ministries is also involved in the project. Its founder hopes to spread the work to other areas as well.

&8220;There are lots of homes that need to be rebuilt, so when we get the funds we will do more and work until we can&8217;t anymore,&8221; he said.

To volunteer with the project, contact Richard at Homeward Ministries at 664-3878