In January of 2017, Christian Broadcasting Network’s 700 Club reported on the amazing story of 90-year-old widow, Agnes Maples. (1)
Agnes Maples’s Story
Agnes lives alone, which for any 90 year old can be an incredibly challenging feat. Beyond the typical obstacles of her age, she found herself in a desperate situation after allowing a relative to store belongings on her property for several years.
Over time, her backyard had been transformed into a trash dump. Sheds overflowed with discarded equipment, building materials, and all manner of junk. The build-up of garbage even grew to include large items like a rotting old trailer home and pieces of furniture. After a point, neighbors could no longer ignore the state of the property and filed complaints with the city.
The city took action in response, threatening to charge Agnes fines of up to $2,500 a day if she didn’t remedy the condition of her yard. She was unable to get the owner of the garbage to remove it, and at her age, Agnes had no hope of clearing out the debris on her own.
At the same time, she was also trying to cope with the failing condition of her home. Her roofing was damaged and full of holes, allowing pests and animals to freely go in and out of the structure. She had no air conditioning in her bedroom, only adding to her discomfort. In the face of the city’s heavy fines and her age making it impossible to make any desperately needed repairs herself, Agnes didn’t know if she had anyone to turn to.
Operation Blessing International (OBI)
With no other idea about what to do, Agnes turned to Operation Blessing International (OBI) for help. (2) Operation Blessing is a nonprofit humanitarian organization with a vision “dedicated to demonstrating God’s love by alleviating human need and suffering in the United States and around the world.” They came when Agnes called to help lift her out of such a desperate situation.
OBI cleared out all of the garbage on Agnes’s property, also removing all the large debris and even tearing down the rotting trailer. But they didn’t stop there. Members of OBI made repairs to her roof and even called in extra volunteers from Regent University to help truly transform Agnes’s home. The team banded together to not only complete the clearing of the property but to beautify the yard with new flower beds and a pathway to the newly opened space behind the house. An already amazed Agnes was filled with gratitude for the work they had done for her, but her “angels,” as she called them, still weren’t quite finished blessing her life.
When the project began, OBI had asked Agnes what she needed. She had answered them by saying, “Please, get me an air conditioner!” After the cleanup and restoration of her yard was done, the volunteers gathered around and presented Agnes with a final surprise, wrapped with bows on top. She shouted with joy when they unwrapped the air conditioner they had gotten for her bedroom.
Because of the amazing charity of Operation Blessing and its volunteers, Agnes was saved from the city’s fines and gifted a second chance to live in happiness and comfort. “Everything is beautiful,” says Agnes, “And I never will forget them.”
Written by Zoe Freeman