Mustard Seed Ministries pays kindness forward

Making a difference with kindness

Volunteers who were recipients of earlier work help others with their projects.

In the early morning hours of May 19, numerous volunteers gathered at 241 Park St. in Sparta. Their mission was to make a family’s needs become a reality by installing a new roof on their home.

Phil and Carol McVickers were in dire need of a new roof on their home for at least 10 years, but could not afford one due to Phil losing his job at the local school district and not being able to find steady work for the last few years. Carol works three jobs just so they can keep their heads barely above water while trying to stay up on the bills as much as possible. A brown tarp had covered part of the roof for the last three years just to keep rain and snow from coming into the attic area.

The volunteers were led by a nonprofit organization from Rockford known as Mustard Seed Ministries. President Troy Winters was contacted by an anonymous individual who had asked if Winters could put something together to help the McVickers with a new roof. The individual was not only led by the Lord to contact Mustard Seed about a new roof for the home, but was also gave $1,000 toward the materials for the project.

Mustard Seed is usually approached by homeowners who need work on their homes, such as wheelchair ramps, roof repairs and many other repairs.

“This was one of those unique situations you don’t come upon too often,” said Winters. “The majority of the people we help are low income and just don’t have the funds to put toward the remodeling of their home.”

The initial estimate came in around $1,300 and the project was in need of another $300 to make this successful. Thanks to the generosity of the Sparta Lions Club, the project was going to happen.

Many businesses and individuals stepped up to the plate by donating things like food from Family Fair, beverages from McDonald’s, lumber from Standard Lumber and a dumpster from Venman’s Landscaping. A portable restroom was even donated by Plummers Disposal. Dave Vander Kodde, a licensed contractor, was on hand to oversee the project to make sure everything went smoothly without issues. Dr. Chris Hawkins, a chiropractor, and his assistant Lisa, a massage therapist with Health First Chiropractic Clinic, were also on site to give back massages and adjustments to the volunteers. Approximately 30 volunteers were on hand to make this project very successful.

Phil and Carol McVickers will not have to worry about any water coming through the roof and into the main living areas of their home anymore. It only took one kind person to come forth and in turn brought so many more people together to accomplish a big project in so little time.

“This project had a purpose and was done with a purpose and touched many lives,” said Aaron Christensen, spokesperson for Mustard Seed.

Christensen, who contacted Mustard Seed Ministries in 2008, is an individual who himself has been helped by Mustard Seed. His home was also in desperate need of a new roof, which was fulfilled by the nonprofit organization, and now he volunteers for them.

“Troy and the ministry came in my life for a purpose and I want to give back and help others in any way I can, and it feels great when you can make a difference,” said Christensen.

Neighbors were helping out and even complete strangers wanted to lend a hand. The Sparta police even allowed Mustard Seed to block off the small street so supplies could be brought in and volunteers had easy access to the home.

The first ladder went up around 7:15 a.m. and the last one came down around 2:30 p.m. There was a ton of hard work accomplished during this project and not an ounce of complaining, even with the warm temperatures. A roof that was this bad really could not be left alone any longer due to the water damage that was working its way into the living area. Once there is damage from water, the home will start to break down with mold and rotting wood, making the value of the home decrease.

The new roof was a big stress reliever for the couple. “Miracles really do happen and there are still some really good kindhearted people out there that still care for their fellow man,” added Carol McVickers.

Mustard Seed Ministries is continually looking for volunteers to assist on projects and also financial contributions to help with the material costs. Whether you are just an individual who has a background in some kind of building experience or a church, business, school or even a club, we are always looking for volunteers to help make a difference. If you would like more information on Mustard Seed Ministries, visit

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.