By LORETTA FULTON
Brian Massey’s tiny houses got some big gifts from a group of tiny kindergarteners, thanks to some people being moved by what Massey is doing to help those who are ailing and their families.
Massey, pastor of Sonrise Ministry in Abilene, is building a series of tiny houses on North Hickory Street called Houses for Healing. They are for people from the Big Country to live in, free of charge, while they or a family member undergo medical treatment in Abilene. He solicited the aid of local churches to sponsor the houses, providing utility payments and assistance to the people staying in them.
Sunday, May 6, it was Brownwood’s turn. Wylie United Methodist Church paid for construction of the tiny house for people from Brownwood and that area. On Sunday, Amber Bletscher brought three children to Wylie UMC, representing 19 children in a kindergarten class at Brownwood’s Woodland Heights Elementary School, taught by Kathy Blake.
They brought with them 10 tote bags filled with snacks, bouncy balls, paints, crafts, games, and a “Get Well” note. The items are for children who might be part of the affected family or visitors. It will give them something do to keep them occupied.
“They want it to be a family atmosphere,” said Carlene Crim, children’s minister at Wylie UMC.
Crim’s husband, Billy, is associate pastor at the church. The Crims and pastor Jeff Hatcher were part of the welcoming crew for the Brownwood folks on Sunday. Bletscher brought with her Kirra Shrum, Kinsley Bletscher, and Kaytli Castaneda. They all loaded up and headed to MaxAir Trampolines after delivering the bags.
Before they left, Billy Crim led a prayer, blessing the children and the bags. It will be the responsibility of Wylie UMC to get a bag to the next family staying in the home, if children are involved.
“When they come, we’ll take one of these bags to that person,” Carlene Crim said, “and we’ll pray for them.”
Amber Bletscher got involved with the project through the Kiwanis Club of Brownwood, which she serves as vice president. She missed the day that Massey presented a program, on his Houses for Healing, but when she heard about it, she contacted her daughter’s kindergarten teacher, Kathy Blake, who took on the responsibility as a class project. Bletscher then mentioned the project to an acquaintance at Thrivent Financial, which paid for the items the children put in the bags.
The entire sequence of events started the day that Massey drove to Brownwood to find someone to talk to about getting a tiny house built to serve residents of Brown County who might be undergoing treatment in Abilene. He normally contacts churches, but that day, he happened to see a pregnancy care center and thought they might be interested. Young women seeking medical and other resources in Abilene throughout a pregnancy might be in need of a free place to stay.
“I just felt like that was where I was supposed to go,” Massey said, and he was right.
Someone at the center overheard Massey’s comments and took fliers to her church. From there, Bletscher got involved and the project took off.