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Because You Care Day – Kyle on Mission in Yap

Every year, each Eastern associate receives five Because You Care Days to use for volunteerism, community involvement, mission work, or similar events. Kyle L from our Greenville Distribution Center shares how he used his BYC Days to serve.

From Kyle:

From 6/8-6/16, I had the opportunity to spend a week in Yap with wonderful friends and missionaries that my church supports, Paul and Sherry Zimmer, who have served on the Island since 2001. Yap is the westernmost state of the Federated States of Micronesia, a 90-minute flight southwest from Guam. We serve a great God! The Lord has added many to His church in Yap through Paul and Sherry’s ministry, and it was wonderful meeting so many from the church there who we’ll see again in glory.

One of our purposes for this trip was to help Paul with his building project. He’s constructing a new school building, which will be the biggest concrete structure on the Island of Yap when it’s completed next year. Paul has a team of roughly 30 workers who come from all over Yap and the outer islands. Before beginning each work day, Paul preaches the Gospel to his crew through a daily Bible study and prayer. God is using this to bring the workers one-by-one to a saving knowledge of Jesus! To pay for the new school building, Paul and Sherry have relied on God to provide all the funds needed to construct this Typhoon and Termite-proof building that will stand the test of time in the intense tropical climate. The government of Yap has even contributed to the project in exchange for making the building the go-to Typhoon shelter for the southern part of the island. God continues to provide all the funds necessary and continues to demonstrate His Grace throughout the project. The cement pump broke while we were there, and a few of us spent the day praying a lot, taking the pump apart, fixing it, and putting it back together. By the end of the day, it was running perfectly!  Another project our team took on was installing 64 commercial windows on the first floor of the building, which we were able to complete by Wednesday. When we weren’t working, we were fishing, snorkeling, playing basketball, exploring the island, trying out the different island restaurants and enjoying the wonderful fellowship with Paul, Sherry, and their children. It’s incredible when God combines your passion and what you love to do with what you need to do. That’s fishing for Paul. God blessed him many years ago with a 25ft beat up boat that he was able to strip, refoam, and refinish the inside to turn out a sturdy fishing boat that supports 4 offshore heavy-tackle saltwater reels. With that, and 2 hand-lines, Paul can have 6 lines in the water at any given time waiting to catch a monster! Anything he catches feeds his work crew, the ministry team, and the village, and so his ability to catch fish plays a vital role to the Zimmer’s ministry on the island.
On Monday 6/11, we found out that one of the church member’s mother had died unexpectedly of Dengue fever. When a family member dies, it’s tradition for all the extended family to come to the house and mourn all day. After work that afternoon, Paul, myself and a few other men from the missions team went out to try to catch a big fish so the family could feed all their relatives. Before we left the dock, we prayed that God would provide a huge fish that would feed the family while they were in mourning. Once we got out to sea, we prayed again that God would bring us a big fish to give to the family. For the first couple of hours, we caught a couple barracuda and rainbow runners, but nothing too crazy. Each time we’d get something on the line, we wondered if that was going to be the big hit. Never doubt that when you’re in the center of God’s will walking in His Grace that He will answer your prayers — He’s the God who created us and knew us before we were born (Gal 1:15-16)! We’d waited roughly another half an hour without so much as a bite, when all of a sudden, something big smashed the line and shook the boat! The fish didn’t jump out of the water so we couldn’t see what it was. We all worked together to reel the thing to the boat. When we got it along side we realized we’d just caught a 5-6ft Silky Shark weighing 75-100lbs, perfect for feeding a big family for a couple days! What’s more, shark was their favorite fish to eat, and the Silky shark, was one of their favorite shark meats! On Paul’s way to dropping off some of our team members just down the road where they were staying, they made a detour to drop the shark of at the family’s hut. When they pulled up to the lodging, the whole family was sitting outside, mourning in silence. Paul and another team member were holding the shark to the roof of the car as they drove. As they came to a stop in front of the family, they lost their grip on the shark, and it slid down the windshield and landed on the hood right in front of all the Yapese watching in silence! Everyone got extremely excited and started smiling and chattering back and forth. The family came running up thanking Paul for the fish. We’re so thankful for a God who cares about us and answers our prayers!
Please pray for Paul and Sherry as they continue to serve in Yap. God is doing a great work on the island. They currently have over 100 enrolled for the next school year with many on the waiting list that they simply don’t have room for until next year when the new school building is complete. The school needs national teachers willing to dedicate themselves to teaching these children. Yap needs national pastors who will be strong in the faith and willing to go to the outer islands to establish churches. Also pray that the island will be able to finish establishing a strong WiFi network, which will allow Paul and Sherry to offer online college courses to prospective students. Pray that God will continue to work in the hearts of the Yapese People and call them to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. He is Mighty to save.
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June 2018 Mission Trip to DBLCH Tanzania

Our Eastern team consisted of Floyd and Bonnie Parker, David Kay, Sam Quinley, Kip and Kim Miller. We arrived at the children’s home in Iringa mid-morning, Saturday, June 2nd. After a late breakfast, we visited the Daily Bread Life Children’s Home (DBLCH) and were greeted warmly by the children and staff, which included welcome signs, smiles, and song and dance. Each one in the group shared personal greetings and a few words with the children and staff. Afterward, the children sang and danced some more as they worshipped. Honestly, there is nothing quite like the greeting that you receive upon arrival. I wish that everyone at Eastern could experience it.

On Sunday we went to worship services. The week then consisted of a morning camp for the children at an Iringa fun park, afternoons were spent teaching at the Bread of Life Secondary School (BLSS), in Kidete, followed by a time of recreation. This is the fourth year since the school began, and we had the opportunity to share one last time with those who were graduating the following week.  In the evenings a teaching conference was held back in Iringa for local business people. The conference began with song and dance. There are rumors that Kip danced with the worship team on Wednesday evening and there may be videos to back it up. Find BLSS on Facebook here.

Thursday afternoon time was spent eating at the Café operated by Daily Bread Life (DBL). The Café is near a bus stop in Iringa and is one of four businesses owned by DBL that provide revenues to help support the ministry and jobs for the students as they graduate from college. After lunch we spent time mixing with the locals and buying souvenirs. Friday consisted of a visit to the Orphanage in Nzihi and an afternoon safari drive in Ruaha National Park, the largest national park in Tanzania.  We camped overnight at Mwagusi Safari Camp. During the night, Kip and Kim were greeted by thousands of ants making their migration to – we don’t know where. There were so many ants throughout the Banda and in the bed, they had to pack up and leave. They wandered through the open camp (yep, open as in… wild animals roaming) to locate the camp director and secure an uninfected Banda (BTW, the ants are still biting Kim!). Saturday morning included another safari drive and then back to Iringa. Saturday afternoon we began our trip back to Greenville.

All who made the trip agreed that our visit to Tanzania was terrific!

From David Kay –

This was one of the best mission trips I have ever been a part of. The team really worked well together and the week ran as smoothly as one could possibly imagine. We did bible camps in a park during the first half of our days and taught the students at the secondary school during the afternoons. Thirty-five students received Christ as savior! I am forever blessed to be a part of something so life-changing, not only for those in Tanzania but also for our team that went.

From Sam Quinley –

This was my first time visiting the Daily Bread Life Ministries in Tanzania.  I was assigned to Recreation for the week and had a blast playing games with the kids.  The kids were so kind and so fun to be around.  I taught the kids American games like kickball, which they learned surprisingly well, considering how hard it is for an English speaker to explain what a “force out” is to someone who speaks Swahili!  There’s no question that I had as much fun – if not more – than the kids from the Children’s Home.  As an Eastern employee, you hear about the work that is being done overseas.  However, actually seeing it in person helps clarify all the good that Eastern does and really makes me proud to work for a company that looks after the needs of others.

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Jan 2018 Trip to Daily Bread Life in Tanzania

“This was my third time visiting the children’s home. Every time is special just like the first time. It is awesome to go back and see all of the kids and watch them grow as the years pass. Some of the ones that were there on my first trip are now graduating from college and starting to look for a career. There were a lot of new kids as well, it was awesome getting to know them too. You don’t realize how blessed you are here in the States until you visit a country that has real poverty and problems. No matter how little we think we have here when you go somewhere like that you realize just how well off you are. They have so little but they have pure happiness and contentment. My favorite part of the trip was when a lot of the kids remembered me from previous trips. They would come up and hug me as if I were a family member. I always get something special out of visiting and spending time with everyone at Daily Bread. I appreciate Neema and Mpeli opening their home to us graciously as always. I look forward to returning many more times.”

~Trey S

Spartanburg, SC

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2018 Special Olympics at Furman University

“It is always uplifting to see the joy and happiness each and every participant has. For all the misconception many regarding people with special needs, they are truly more extraordinary than most who judge them. Each year is a true pleasure” ~Carter S. & Rodney T.
“I had the privilege to work at the Special Olympics. There were about 60 teams from various schools in SC, and it was so much fun to watch the enthusiasm of all the kids when went from booth to booth to win a prize. This is my 2nd year doing it and I enjoyed meeting new people and hanging out with other employees from other branches.” ~Laura L.

“I had the privilege of volunteering for the Special Olympics that was held at Furman University. There were hundreds of smiling kids who were so excited to compete in the games that were held and the games that we sponsored which consisted of corn hole, putt-putt, hill-billy golf and a couple more fun games for the kids. This was my 4th year going and each year seems to be better than the last. There’s no greater joy than seeing a big smile on those kids’ faces. It really puts into perspective how blessed we are to be a part of something as big as the Special Olympics and bringing joy and happiness to the kids who participate year after year. I will definitely be back again.” ~Jason T.

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2018 Rich L Goes to Dominican Republic on Mission Trip

On Easter Sunday, 16 amazing young adults and 3 adults from Mckendree United Methodist Church set off on a mission trip to Villa Clara in the Dominican Republic. With the help of 4 Dominican nationals we were able to complete the following:

1. Dug a mountain of dirt by hand with picks and shovels for footers for a retaining wall behind the Pastors house.
2. Moved said dirt by wheel barrel and bucket brigade to two locations. Approximately 100 yards from the house.
3. Screened rock and gravel and sifted the same to make the concrete and mortar for the block retaining wall.
4. Moved the concrete and mortar by wheel barrel to the house.
5. Passed the block by hand for the wall from 4 locations to areas around the house.
All of this was done with zero complaining or in-fighting the entire week. The good Lord was with us the entire time. We were also able to enjoy a day at the beach.
~Rich L.
Atlanta, GA
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2017 Eastern Cares Charity Classic

October 27th marked the 4th Annual Eastern Cares Charity Classic. This year our tournament benefitted Daily Bread Life Children’s Home in Iringa, Tanzania. Twenty-four teams came out to play at Smithfields Country Club in Easley, SC and we could not have asked for a more beautiful day to play some golf. This year we raised over $22,000 to help the children at Daily Bread Life. Thank you to our amazing sponsors and players!

 

First prize went to Mike DeShields and his awesome team! We also had an incredible Hole-In-One by Glenn Mosack of Apollo Valves on hole 8, scoring him the Closest to the Pin award on that contest hole! Congratulations to these folks!

Titanium Sponsors

  • Stainless Fitting Group
  • Dodson Global
  • Liquid Combustion Techonology

 

Porcelain Sponsors

  • Apollo Flow Controls
  • Grover Todd
  • Keystone Constructors

Stainless Sponsors

  • Anvil
  • B2X Partners
  • Cherry Bekaert
  • Jack Sullivan
  • Marsh & McLennan Agency
  • RIDGID Tools
  • The Allied Group

 

Copper Sponsors

  • C.H. Patrick
  • ISCO
  • Keith & Kristi Giddens
  • Lamons
  • Merfish Pipe & Supply
  • Merit Brass
  • Norca Industrial Company
  • Penn Machine
  • Pro Marketing
  • Texas Pipe

Carbon Sponsors

  • Absolute E-Z Up
  • Anderson Transportation & Logistics
  • Corrugated Container
  • G & W Equipment
  • Kelly Pipe Co.
  • Marubeni-Itochu Steel Canada
  • Powell Valves
  • Promotional Authority
  • Rodney True
  • Service Metal
  • Silbo Industries, Inc
  • Smith-Cooper
  • Spears Manufacturing
  • TAG Logistics
  • Titan Flow Control
  • Warren’s Tire on Wheels
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Love Taylors Day 2017

From Mary Jean R. in our Corporate Office in Greenville, SC:


“Love Taylors” Day kicked off at First Baptist of Taylors, SC bright and early on the morning of September 16th, with over 300 volunteers coming together for a day of serving our neighbors, building on-going relationships and sharing the love of Jesus throughout the Taylors community (between Greer and Greenville, SC). Using their gifts, skills, and passion, volunteers jumped in, ready to go to take on projects all up and down Main Street (overall, within a 2.8 mile radius of the church), including park beautification and clean-up, landscaping, home repairs, bike repairs, oil changing clinic, ladies financial workshop, prayer walking, just to name some of the many hands-on activities that took place throughout the day.

Love Taylors Day Group of Volunteers

Our life group had the privilege of providing breakfast for the volunteers – 400 Chick-Fil-A chicken-minis, 100 chicken biscuits, 40 pounds of bananas, a bushel of locally picked apples, 15 pounds of clementines, 144 orange juices, 100 milks, nutrition/protein bars, water, and a lot of coffee. It all went off without a hitch! We are grateful for the day’s beautiful weather and especially for the collective heart of the people who were so willing to give of their time and talents towards making a difference in the life of our church’s community – Taylors, SC!

Volunteers eating breakfast
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Todd H Helps With Hurricane Clean Up

This story is from Todd H in our Greenville, SC Distribution Center. He used a couple of Because You Care Days to help people in Florida after the devastating storms that hit.

Thanks so much for allowing me to serve the people of Central Florida with the SC Baptist Disaster Relief team.
We arrived at Lake Yale conference center late Sunday night and started working early Monday morning. First, we removed a tree in a rural area that was blocking the road (dirt road) that the school bus had to go down on its route. Next, we removed a tree from an elderly widows roof (picture below) our last task was to serve a 92-year-old man that was grieving the loss of his wife of 70 years. Mr. Pruitt used to serve with the Florida Disaster Relief team, we were honored to remove a tree from his property that was blocking a canal that was used by local residents. Wednesday was a travel day back home, even though we were only there for 2 work days, we were able to help, encourage and just listen to people that wanted to tell you their story.
Todd H
Greenville, SC
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Sam Goes to Clarkston with Friends of Refugees

Sam from our Anderson, SC branch used several of his Because You Care Days to serve at this youth camp. Eastern gives each employee five Because You Care Days to do mission work and serve our communities each year. In his own words:


This summer I had the opportunity to serve at a youth camp in Clarkston, GA for 5 days.  The camp was organized by a group called “Friends of Refugees.”  When the US receives refugees, many of them are resettled in Clarkston, GA.  In fact, the city has resettled over 40,000 refugees from many different countries in the past 25 years.  The campers ranged from kindergarten to fifth grade.  We spent each day getting to know the kids through playing games, leading bible studies, and sharing meals.  In the evenings, we would make home visits in attempts to get to know the adult members of the families.  Many of these visits required the use of Google Translate to overcome the language barrier when communicating.  Through my time there, I had the chance to meet many interesting folks from all over the world! I’ve gained a greater understanding of how the refugee resettlement program in America works, and I was able to gain a strong sense of empathy for how difficult it is to provide for one’s family when living in a foreign country with a language barrier.

~Sam Q

Sam Q in Clarkson GA Youth Camp by "Friends of Refugees" Group Picture
Sam Q and two children in Clarkson GA Youth Camp by "Friends of Refugees"
Sam Q in Clarkson GA Youth Camp by "Friends of Refugees" Group Playing a Game
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Spencer L Helps VBS at Roebuck Baptist Church

From Spencer L on how he used two of his five Because You Care Days (Mission Days) offered by Eastern.


 

My wife, Janet, is the Children’s Minister at Roebuck Baptist Church and I usually use my missions day each year helping her with different events. I used two days this year for their Vacation Bible School.  Roebuck is one of the few churches that still offer a daytime bible school. Most of them are now done at night. Since it is during the day, we have been able to minister to some of the local daycare facilities. This year we had three daycares that came to bible school. This was such a blessing to be able to share with the children of our community. I decided to use my days on Monday and Friday because the first day and last day of bible school are usually the most hectic. We were very blessed to have a great group of children. It was actually divided into three groups for VBS. We had preschool, 1st-6th grade, and middle school.  It was a great week to be with these children and with all of the great workers. I am very blessed that Eastern provides these days for its employees to use to serve their communities.
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