Journey of Service SAGE Volunteers Aid National and International Construction Projects

April 01, 2007 | Carrol Grady

Seniors in Action for God with Excellence (SAGE) in Washington has a reputation for giving back to the community through various local and international service projects.

Right after Christmas 2006, a group of 25 volunteers from Washington state traveled to La Sierra University in Riverside, Calif., to work on a landscaping project called “Path of the Just.”

The concept for “Path of the Just,” according to Charles Teel, religion professor and director of the Stahl Center and Museum, developed a dozen years ago as a garden walkway to honor local and global humanitarians and to inspire students to altruistic service.

SAGE Washington volunteers constructed the patio for South America, honoring Ana and Fernando Stahl, pioneer missionaries to Peru, who created a school system for indigenous peoples near Lake Titicaca; and for Africa, honoring Archbishop Desmond Tutu, human rights advocate and Nobel Prize winner. Other continent patios will honor additional heroes.

“These days most of our students are not acquainted with the heroes of the past,” La Sierra University president Lawrence T. Geraty told the Riverside Press-Enterprise. “Having continents and trees planted in the name of specific individuals is a way of helping students think about what they can do to change the world.”

After two weeks in Southern California, volunteers continued their journey of service in Ecuador where 45 volunteers built a new church—from start to finish—in a suburb of Santo Domingo.

Team members also painted six churches in neighboring areas, held evangelistic meetings and two Vacation Bible Schools, treated more than 100 people per day in a medical clinic and witnessed 25 baptisms at the church dedication service.