A woman from Sumter county, South Carolina who had a constant struggle with her leaky roof got the biggest surprise of her life when it was repaired for free.
Willie Mae Cokley lived in a home on the south side of Sumter, and after asking for help from everybody in the town to no avail, she began praying that someone would help her. “Finally, I said Lord, I need to see somebody to help me with this roof. If I don’t, one of these days it’s going to rain and it’s going to cave in over on me,” Cokley said.
A community member told her to contact Sumter United Ministries. “Within two weeks, they been calling me and saying we coming to look at your roof,” Cokley said. “I said, Lord have mercy. Thank you Jesus; thank you Jesus.”
Her prayers were answered this month, when volunteers from the organization came to assist her. “We… try to help carry the burden for people. Be like a neighbor,” Mark Champagne, the group’s executive director, said. “It could be through our crisis relief ministry, our shelter, our free medical clinic, our education ministry and today, you can see our construction ministry.”
He says their ministry heavily relies on volunteers and donations to do what they do. On Monday, as they continued working on her home, it was only two of them there to carry the load. “We hope to have a lot more folks come out and help us,” Champagne said. “If somebody could come out for even a half a day, a couple of hours… we’ll find a way to get them plugged in.”
Cokley and folks like her need this kind of help as she says, “I hope and pray that they can keep on doing what they doing, ’cause Lord knows, if it wasn’t for them, I don’t know what in the world I would do,” Cokley said. “I didn’t have the money to put another roof on the house.”
We must try and help ministries like Sumter United Ministries who go above and beyond to help people like Coakley who don’t have the resources to do up their homes because the Bible commands us in Deuteronomy 15:11 “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.”