Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Day 5...the beginning of the end

Throughout our time here on the Gulf Coast we've had warm days, cold days and rainy days. Today was a cold, windy day and it's supposed to be colder tomorrow. Oh joy.

It's evident from today that we're all tired, emotionally and mentally. Tempers are shorter, patience is vanishing and tears come a little bit easier. None of us are immune to these effects, though some are more clever at hiding them. As you pray for the team on Wednedsay, please pray that we would end our week of work on a high note, enjoying each other's company. Tomorrow is it, at 5pm we are done, we put all the tools back in Ben's trailers and head on home. I'm not excited about that. It's not a moment that any of us are really looking forward to, though the prospect of our own beds sounds really good right about now.

On to the work. Today a team headed back to the yellow house to start gutting the greenhouse and sheds out back. Guy came over with his chain saw and helped to eliminate a problem tree branch. We spent the whole day making the garbage pile bigger and bigger. If our work required a crowbar, Joe S. was quick to off his services. Our prayer is that he won't wound himself with that thing! We had a lot of visitors as well, curious to see what was happening. One group came through and made it a point to share how impressed they were with the job we had done inside the house. Hopefully by the time we are done tomorrow, people will be impressed with the outside work as well!
Mr. Peanut's house was busy today making sure the floor was level at Ms. S's house. There is a new sliding door in and sheetrock is going up to make the house weather safe before we need to leave. Debbie will be coming home with all her limbs intact, though I heard she shouldn't be trusted alone around a saw. Mr. Peanut's group is sorry to see the young 'uns leave (Ms. S's grandkids) but looking forward to a day where they don't have to worry about kids underfoot.

The flooring work at Mr. P's house ended today. Yo Momma and Violett rocked and got an "EQ" from the boss man. That's "early quit" in Ben-speak. Mr. P and friend enjoyed their company throughout the day. They couldn't just not do anything though, so Yo Momma and Violett headed over to the yellow house for the last hour of the day.

Mr. Bill took a group to a new site for us, just down the street from Mr. P's house. They spent the day taping and mudding drywall. I've heard tell that Sarah is a whiz at mudding corners. There is another day's work for them tomorrow, helping one family get a step closer to being in their home.

Norm and Alex finished up their roofing job today and spent some time talking with Ms. P and her family. Ms. P's grandson had stayed in the house while the rest of the family had evacuated. When Pearlington flooded, Ms. P's grandson was evacuated to Bay St. Louis, unbknownest to the rest of his family. Days after the storm, Ms. P and family went to the Bay to look for her grandson only to be told that the evacuation camps weren't keeping a list of names of the peopel there because there were just too many. By chance Ms. P's grandson spotted the top of his grandmother's van as they were driving away and chased down the car to be reunited with his family. It's stories like those that make us all realize how difficult it must have been in the days after the storm, not knowing where your family was or even how to find them.

Mark's crew continued flooring at Ms. J's house. Maaike is proving to be a great asset to the team! She laid down a peel and stick bathroom floor in about an hour and a half. Go Maaike! Pedro got mad at the boards and tried to break them, but was quickly calmed down by Jonathan. They have another day's work ahead of them and hope to have most of the floors done by tomorrow. They seem like a pretty happy team!

As we talked tonight in our nightly meeting, I was reminded that we sometimes forget how big our small jobs are to the people we work for. It gets tedious doing the same thing over and over. We are easily frustrated when we have to recut something 4 times to make it fit but yet the end result is that we are helping someone get one step closer to living in their home. Though the work may not be personally satisfying, the work is important. We are blessed to be here doing what God is calling us to do with an amazing team of people!

1 comment:

B said...

You guys are amazing. i hope today ended the trip on a high note. it sounds like yesterday was a bit of a tough day for quite a few people but at here at home couldn't be prouder of those of you giving up your vacations to do what you are doing. thank you so much for that. to the small town of pearlington, I'm sure that you guys and groups like yours have made a world of difference to a group of people who may have been struggling to survive, let alone better themselves. I'm sure Aiden and Kieren will be more than jubilant to get to see you guys again next time, as will all the other people that you have helped.
Today i got to work at a different banking center than i usually do and every person who i helped (about 290) i told them your story. every person i talked to said to tell you guys that they think what you are doing is amazing. some people had helped in the area and were glad to see that people hadn't forgotten about the area. one man went as far as saying that your group was a part of a dying breed of americans. almost all of them told me to tell you guys thank you for helping.
i know the story has been told many times before, so many so that it is almost a cliche, but you guys may not feel like a whole lot has been done, but like the starfish thrown back to the ocean, to those you helped, no matter how much or little, you have made a world of difference
thank you
god bless