Monday, February 16, 2009
Amazing faces of amazing volunteers from all over this United States. All came here with one agenda -- help the people. And help the people is exactly what they did.
It was a typical Monday morning with 75 people needing to eat breakfast, get refreshed on the job they are going to, get their prepared lunches and drinks ready, gather the needed tools from the warehouse, program their GPS units and head off down the road -- chaos at its finest!
Here is a short update for each and every job that was going on today (see if you can keep them straight) A quick note -- Diane had Galveston and I had San Leon --- and it worked! :)
Hai has a complete new design for her house, the materials were picked up, exterior doors, framing materials, her roof getting some extra support, new windows being framed, a new kitchen layout being drawn up, rough in electrical and rough in plumbing in the beginning stages and a smile on her and her brother's faces that would light the dark skies. The fears and unknowns of yesterday are turning into dreams come true -- isn't God's love miraculous! The master carpenter running this job has been able to not only see the construction side but also see and feel the heart -- priceless!
Terri was working all day and didn't get the chance to meet the Iowa team working on her home. Tomorrow she will take off early to meet the folks who have captured her vision, understand her past and want to incorporate all into her home. When Iowa does meet her they will meet another lady besides the one we met -- the one with no hope and unable to smile. They cleaned out inside and started the prep for new roofing tomorrow.
Cathy and Dwight now have the underneath living space of their home cleaned out and a plan to start the reconstruction of new tomorrow. Dwight was right in there working with the team all day and also had one of those smiles that can't be wiped off. Cathy is learning first hand what all is involved in rebuilding and what it's like to have people come and help with no agenda. This will help her in her crisis counseling of hurricane survivors -- something about walking in anothers shoes?!
Ralph and Laura had enough people work on their home that the remainder of the gutting was done shortly after lunch. That team called the other part of their team and traveled the few blocks to join them at Richard and Peggy's with their gutting and beginning stages of rebuilding. Richard's emphasema was getting the best of him today and Peggy couldn't even come to the house with her arthritis pain. I bet both of them are doing better this evening, just thinking about everything that was done today and the fact that they will be returning tomorrow. This team consists of some of the oldest and youngest volunteers and watching them all work together was amazing.
Teress now has about half of her home mudded and gutted. Rebuilding is questionable at this time, the structure has to be evaluated when everything is done. She is being walked and prayed through the process by the team, the women have spent alot of time with her and shown her God's love through their actions!
Nareen continues to be blessed by the Convoy of Hope team. They have the siding on the outside and she even surprised them by showing them the fire engine red paint she bought for the color. The weather will determine whether the painting will be started tomorrow or not. The team did get together and surprise her with a pot of tulips -- bright red! This gave them the opportunity to talk about red being the symbol for new life, a new start -- after Nareen dried the tears from her eyes. I made a surprise request to this team before noon -- I needed 4 of them to relocate to another job site to help with tearing off a roof --- and just as I knew, they were more than happy to go and spent the rest of the day picking up the shingles torn off the house! Pure service! They also were the ones cleaning up the entire kitchen after breakfast this morning and dinner this evening -- and preparing the sandwiches for tomorrow!
Marie's electrical work and rebuilding continues. Part of a team stopped by this morning to try and dig up the sewer line to see what the plumbing problem is. Her daughter, Amy, was also successful in pulling the needed permits for both electrical and plumbing. This means we do not have to try and hire those contractors, we can utilize the skilled volunteers we have in those trades and thus save dollars! Marie was also surprised with a small check from FEMA labeled "Other Needs Assistance." They have reevaluated her home, seeing that we have been working there and Marie is doing all she can to rebuild, and tapped into another source of funding they have. When she called and asked me what she should do with it I told her to "sing praises to the Lord all the way to the bank" and I think I heard those praises shortly after we hung up.
Naomi's rebuilding also started today. They are insulating and sheetrocking and soon she will be able to live somewhere besides her bedroom upstairs. She had done very well in her shopping for all the supplies -- it was a learning experience in construction, one she won't forget!
As you can see, what a Monday! And there are 4 more days of these teams working, serving, changing lives and showing God's love in real and practical ways! I only wish each one of you could ride in the truck with me -- actually seeing, feeling and experiencing the joy of the Lord! The lives of the homeowners aren't the only ones being changed -- many !!! of these volunteers are here on their very first mission trip!! They are already talking in amazement about all the things that happened --- and it's only their first day! Just wait until tomorrow!
Until then . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty