Laborers For Christ, LCEF News

Why Laborers For Christ Can Be the Most Rewarding Work

October 11, 2016 | Posted by LCEF

The first day he worked alongside the men and women of LCEF’s Laborers For Christ, Colin Pay called his wife at the office, urging her to join them.

“You have to be here at 4 o’clock! They all get together for fellowship, and it’s so cool!”

Colin remembers telling Robin about the Laborers who were working for the Pays’ church in Hemet, California.

Seven years later, Colin and Robin are finishing their seventh project as Laborers, doing what Robin calls “rewarding, wonderful work with Christian people.”

New projects, new friends

Colin, a fire fighter/engineer, and Robin, who worked for the local school district, discovered Laborers For Christ when Prince of Peace Lutheran Church participated in the LCEF program to build a family life center in Hemet.

As Laborers worked and worshiped alongside congregants, the Pays saw how these men and women from a variety of states became members of their church family.

Along with volunteering on the construction site, Colin and Robin went out to dinner with the Laborers. Robin’s parents invited Laborers to their home for Christmas.

“And now we go on projects, too, where we really become part of the congregations where we’re working,” said Colin, 58, who, like Robin, 61, joined Laborers For Christ after retirement. “With every project, we meet more people and make more friends.”

Those friendships have blossomed in communities like Creston, Montana, where the Pays served with Laborers working for the Church at Creston-Lutheran as the congregation built its first church home.

The couple also traveled to Joplin, Missouri, to tackle repairs for Immanuel Lutheran Church after the devastating 2011 tornado, and to Magnolia, Texas, to lend a hand to a young congregation worshiping in a funeral home.

“That was one of our smallest projects, but also very rewarding,” Colin said of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Magnolia. “Their membership was dwindling, and they really needed their own church.”

Hard to say good-bye

In September the Pays and fellow Laborers were wrapping up work for Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church in Black Hawk, South Dakota, on a new sanctuary and early childhood center. Good-byes can be hard.

“We had a new Laborer working on his first project, and he could hardly stand to leave. That’s how much of a family you become,” said Robin, one of many women to proudly wear a Laborers hard hat.

Construction experience isn’t necessary. “You learn by doing – on-the-job training with fellowship,” said Colin, who, with Robin, now lives in Banning, California.

The Pays’ enthusiasm for the “building for eternity” ministry also extends to their family. Their son, the Rev. Garen Pay, encouraged his congregation – Peace Lutheran Church, Alcester, South Dakota – to participate in Laborers For Christ on much needed and affordable energy-efficient window upgrades.

“We had a great experience with some nice, loving people who were willing to go on a little adventure to help our church,” Pastor Pay said when Laborers worked for the congregation in 2014. “They brought us a lot of joy.”

Even when they are home, Colin and Robin continue the Laborers tradition of ending each prayer with “Rejoice!” That prompted grandson Connor, 3, to ask, “Why Grampa say rejoice?”

“Because that’s what Laborers say,” explained Connor’s grandparents, who call working for God’s Kingdom through Laborers For Christ “so rewarding.”

Interested in becoming a Laborers For Christ member? Sign up here or call 800-843-5233.