Skip to content

ForColumbia 2022: Loving Your Neighbors Made Simple


But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

Jeremiah 29:7 

Since 2015, ForColumbia has had a single mission: to love and serve our neighbors, without any agenda, as a way of glorifying Christ and living our lives for his glory.

Sometimes, that means we take on projects for non-profit organizations, agencies that work in the lives of Columbia-area families all year long.

Sometimes, we commit to projects in areas that benefit everyone—serving in city parks, public schools, and other community areas.

And sometimes, we have the privilege of loving and serving our neighbors in a very literal fashion, such as with families who own their homes but who, for various reasons, need some help maintaining them.

I’d like to share with you the story of one neighbor we will be helping this year.

Tonya is a single working woman helping to raise one of her teen grandsons. She grew up in her parents’ home here in central Columbia, the home her parents shared until her father died in 2013. Following his death, the home became increasingly difficult for her elderly mother to care for on her own. Tonya moved in to help care for both her mom and the home. On a limited income, they struggled both financially and practically to take care of it. 

In 2018, with needed repairs outpacing their ability to keep up, the two women decided to rent a home together, where a landlord would ultimately be responsible for home care. Then in December 2020, both women became ill with COVID. While Tonya recovered, her mother succumed to the virus and died on Christmas Eve. Tonya was devastated.

This past year, Tonya decided she would move back into the family home. However, having been left essentially abandoned for three years, the weather and critters had compounded the disrepair. By the time Tonya decided to reclaim the property, the home had a hole in the roof, foundation issues, and wrecked plumbing, just for starters. Tonya needed serious help bringing her old home back to life.

Without the funds to pay for expensive repairs, and no longer having the family support she needed to help her take on a project of this size, Tonya didn’t know where to begin.

Tonya ForColumbia 1

Tonya’s experience is just the kind of situation we look for as a serving site for ForColumbia.

In this family’s situation, many hands make light work—especially when some of those hands have carpentry skills. Neighbors can come together to make the impossible doable—and to help a neighbor hang on to a property that’s been in her family for decades. 

That’s exactly what the experience of serving with ForColumbia looks like. Neighbors helping neighbors.

Every year, ForColumbia identifies many of these kinds of projects. We meet with people who need help. And we come up with a plan for how we can serve people well. 

If you would like to know more about all ForColumbia has done in the community, check out their website!