In May of 2018, PV member Roxy Coursey, her husband David, and over fifty others traveled to Windermere Baptist Conference Center for a weekend of building projects and fellowship.
“Part of the reason we decided to serve is that we knew the impact Windermere has had on our church over the years,” says Roxy.
Since 1955, Windermere has served churches and organizations by hosting summer camps and retreats amidst the natural beauty of the Lake of the Ozarks. Pleasant Valley’s Student Ministry has held Summerfest each summer at Windermere, bringing hundreds of students for a week of fun and spiritual development. However, by hosting camps and groups throughout the year, the staff and volunteers have found it difficult to keep up with the growing needs of a large retreat center.
“After seeing how our students – my own kids included – had grown during their times at Windermere, we decided as a group to give back and make sure others had the same chance to see and experience Jesus.”
Roxy and David’s community group decided to travel once a year down to Windermere. With open hands of generosity, they took on whatever projects the staff brought to them. Weekends included 8-hour days full of building projects, cleaning the retreat center and encouraging the staff.
“Eventually our community group grew large enough that we multiplied into three separate groups,” said Roxy. “Even though these community groups met separately, we decided to still come together each year for our trip to Windermere.” Over the course of nearly a decade, the trip has grown from a single community group to over fifty people coming together to serve. Through their combined efforts, there isn’t a single part of the conference center that hasn’t been touched by Pleasant Valley volunteers. “Even those who can’t physically help have provided building resources, financial gifts, and more to make sure we meet our goals during each trip,” said Roxy. “It’s amazing to see how many other people have wanted to jump on board!”
Roxy believes that these trips have grown their community group into friendships that are closer than any other she has. “You can go out to dinner with another couple and get to know them, sure,” she says. “But once you have spent a few long, hard days working together you know these people deeply and personally.” While accomplishing work projects takes up most of the weekend, Roxy says that her favorite parts of the weekend are the times of sharing at the end of Saturday night and the church service they held on Sunday morning. “I think this is why we are such a cohesive community. We not only serve Windermere together, but we serve each other by investing in each other’s lives.”
Roxy’s dream is to see other groups follow in their footsteps, either by joining them at Windermere in the coming years or by coming together to serve an organization that has captured their hearts. “Even though it’s a hard weekend of work, we look forward to it every single year. The stories that come from this weekend I’ll cherish forever.”
Want to impact the world while growing in a community? Join a PV Community Group, and see how serving together can transform your life and the lives of others at PV, the Northland and beyond.