Ryan King and O’Sean Quintana frame the walls of Kay Welch’s house at Lancaster Mennonite School.

“Never in my life— never have I built a house.”

her unsalvageable house. King traveled to Crisfield, on the arm of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, to help raise the house. So did Owen Horvath, 18, one of the Lancaster students who graduated in May. Horvath said it felt good to be able to build something that makes such a difference in someone’s life. “Normally when you’re doing construction projects, it’s just for something you’re not really going to think about after you’re done,” he said. “But, you know, with something like this, it’s really impactful to be able to know that you’re really doing something that’s going to help people. I like the idea of actually putting myself to use for the good of other people.” As King and Horvath arrived on the job site, they saw— by complete surprise—Andy Hershey, a former teacher from Lancaster Mennonite School who served as King’s mentor back in 2005, during King’s first year of teaching. “I was not expecting to see Ryan King at Crisfield,” said Hershey. “I had heard the house’s outside walls were being delivered to the site on Tuesday of the week I volunteered.” But Hershey didn’t know that King was in charge of the students making the walls—or that he would be on the job site that day. “We got to catch up on each other’s lives in conversations throughout the day,” said Hershey. “It is


“I love the volunteers, the Mennonites, and everybody has just been wonderful,” said homeowner Kay Welch.


behind the hammer

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