Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Day is done

When I was a Girl Scout we used to sing a song that went like this.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky.
All is well, safe we rest, God is nigh.

Our week is done. The sun has gone down from the sky and we have said our goodbyes to Pearlington and to it's residents. It's not been an easy week. There have been moments of conflict and frustration. We have experienced times of boredom along with that sense of urgency to finish the job. Some of us have sore muscles, some have struggled with allergies and illness, most are just plain tired. We've had a couple of small injuries and some scrapes and bruises. We've worked on 11 homes, put in around 900 hours of sweat equity into Pearlington, ate some great food and saw destruction that left us in tears. All of us have felt frustration and experienced some challenge but I don't think any of us would trade this experience for the world!

Here are our memorable moments from the week:

Jodi--The most memorable thing was walking into the Yellow House and just seeing the furniture turned on it's side...personal belongings, toys and pictures with a layer of dried mud over everything.

Joe--For me it was leaving Ms. S's house at the end of the day with the two kids running over saying "Don't leave! Aren't you going to come back and finish the house?" What do you tell them? How do you tell them that you're only here for a week and aren't going to be able to finish the job.

Zach--The change of people's opinions about Ms. S's house after we were done working on it. Before we got there the general consensus was that house needed to be torn down but not they say it will take a year to two years with volunteer help for her to be moved in.

Norm--Mr. P's house in the afternoon was one of the most exciting moments. Rita and Sandy came and said "We want to do more!" Everyone was teaching others how to do the work and we were running like crazy by the end of the work day. The other was at the site today roofing. Once everyone got started on their task it went well. When other groups came back to drop things off, they saw we were still working and joined in the work. At one point there were four lines of people working on the roof, racing to get it all down. It felt like things were really moving and was just fun.

Bill--One of the most memorable things for me was New Year's lunch, though it was long, it was moving to hear the people of the church share how much they appreciated all the people how had come to the town. They actually look at the storm as a blessing. They have served 6000 meals since the storm.
Lynn--The high point of the week was at the yellow house, walking into all that devastation and at the end of the day seeing the difference we made. No one stood around, everyone was moving and working hard and worked together well as a team.

Maaike--What I thought was really important was the feeling of being together and home with the people in this group. The most memorable was the yellow house and seeing what had happened in the storm.

Douglas--My funniest moment was today with the crowbars and Joe, just whacking stuff all day. My most memorable moment was being a team leader with Mark. It was fun for a couple of days and then I didn't want to be a leader anymore. My 2nd most memorable moment was the first day at the yellow house. It was like we were all on fire. I was always carrying buckets out.

Pedro--At Mr. M's house working in his closet, there were dirty clothes everywhere. Underneath one of the piles was a cockroach...Mark was like "Okay, that's a cockroach." I said, "Kill it." and Mark said "I don't know how to kill it." It was a lot of fun working with Mark. We worked together well.

Molly--I have three things about the week I will remember forever. The first was walking into the yellow house feeling angry that people have just left it that way and seeing the power of nature. The 2nd most cool thing was on the 2nd day at Ms. S's house when both her grandkids remembered me. It was really important to me. Third, I've had more "girl power" moments this week than I've had in my life. Everyday I've been proving myself. I feel like God has been showing me my strengths this week.

Joe G.--One was when went down to the Gulf and took that drive. Every house it was like just the metal bases of the house. It was pretty emotional. Second this week I've mostly worked with Norm. He's a really good worker and teacher. I had a lot of fun with him.

Mark--I liked being roommates with Joey. We talked late into the night and it was cool getting to know him. The other thing that I really liked was being a co-leader because if I had any hard decisions I could tell the other person to deal with it. I really enjoyed having a group of people who maybe didn't know what to do and maybe I knew what to do. We got together and worked together as a team. It was really cool that everyone came together to help other people

Jonathan--My most memorable moment of the trip was getting sick. I don't remember feeling that bad in a long time. But the brighter side was rooming with Joe. We've been best friends for a long time and he's still my best friend. On the site, the teamwork that we had on the flooring job was the other memorable moment. Whenever someone needed to help someone was there.

Pete—To have the opportunity to spend such profound time with my son was by far the best part of the trip. One of the most fun things was when Mr. Guy and Mr. Peanut had rock and roll flashbacks on the way back to Slidell. It was fun to finish strong and I felt like we finished strong today.

Violett—My best moment was today when Justine and I were talking. I liked that all of us were really close and actually bonded. Today I was talking with Brittany that I’m really a wanting and needing person, I’m always asking for more. I finally realized on this trip that there are people who have less and I need to be happy with what I have.

Sandy—Mine is being with my church family again on a week’s worth of travel. It’s always amazing how close we get in this one week and when we go home we stay that way. We have a bond that people can’t understand a lot. Also going to the Baptist Church lunches, seeing them still serving great meals, it hasn’t changed. It’s still just as good now as it was then. And I got to pound two nails into their new church building, one for me and one for my sister.

Michelle—My highlight of the trip was the yellow house the first day, how we all banded together. Also, the church where we eat lunch at being remembered by the people who were serving lunch. It was nice to know that someone remembered me. Also, just being here and being able to work when most people choose to sit on the couch and watch TV on their break. Probably the biggest highlight was at the end of the day sitting and listening to everyone’s day and hearing how they were changed by the day.

Guy—For me the highlight was being able to go back to Ms. S’s house because I had been there last year. It was also a low point because she seemed to be doing much worse but by the end of the week she was much better. She gave me a picture of her rose that I had pruned for her last year.
Rita--I really appreciate the fact that I was able to accepted and build relationships with everyone in this group. I enjoyed going to three different sites but I felt it was a real privilege to go to the yellow house. I know that everything I did throughout the week meant something but to see the inside change and the outside change that was the true Katrina experience.
Sarah--At Mr. P's house I felt not only did I learn something but I was tested because I had to teach people. I got to do the same thing today at Mr. J's house too. I think one of the best things about our group is how we all get along. We all care about each other.
Brittany--My favorite moments this week were hanging out with Ben and Tom, knowing that Katrina had brought them together and seeing the love and respect they have for each other. It was so special to be treated as an equal in the leadership capacity.
Sue--The thing that I appreciated most was the caring attitude the team had and the professionalism. For being volunteers we did a better job than some professionals. I was just totally bowled over today just seeing the greenhouse apart. There were some great victory calls as things feel down.

Debbie--I was struck today by the complex recovery process. Each house is different and the recovery is different. From the house that is in the same condition that we left it the last year, to the house that is finally in the beginning stages of recovery, to the house that the people have moved in but will have to move out because of the permit process. Yet everyone is still grasping onto hope. It's evident that everyone is in their own process is healing.

Gail--The thing that was the most memorable thing for me was the caring that the people of Pearlington have for us. The morning that we first came in one of the neighbors saw us come in, going across the glass door we were using to get across the gully. In the afternoon he was out cutting boards and putting them over the door making it a safe place for us to walk. Today at lunch on of the gentlemen we had met the day before came in, saw me and said "Where have you been? I've been looking all over for you!" He had brought a heater over to the house we had worked on the day before, knowing how cold it would be in the house.
Justine--Meeting Ms. L was great. She was so interesting. It was great to talk with her. Working on the yellow house, at first I didn't want to work there but going in I understand why my parents watch "This Old House". There was a chandelier in the bathroom! We got connected to the house and connected to the owner. It was amazing working with everyone on that house.
Regina--My most memorable moment was seeing Pete hit a nail in in 2 strokes when it took me 20. Also seeing how much it took to make the house level and straight. The first couple of days our crew didn't really know what we were really supposed to do but as the week went on we knew exactly what to do.
Alex--Ms. P's story about the Katrina disaster really brought home the whole thing while we are here. Walking into the yellow house, seeing what had been done and what was yet to do. Seeing the water level in the house and the mess made it all real to me. The other thing is what the team has accomplished this week. Finally, being on a mission trip with my two daughters was amazing, even though we were never on a site together.
Lisa--I enjoyed hanging out with people but it was hard in a lot of ways. I enjoyed that we got to see Ms. D today and that I was remembered by her daughter. It was just a different trip then last time.
Thank you, dear readers, for sending us, for commenting, for praying for us and for trusting God to care for us on our journey. We have been blessed!

1 comment:

ed said...

Thank you so much for all of your reports, stories, pictures, and reflections. You have certainly been blessed with another productive and fruitful trip. You remain in our thoughts and prayers here at FPC as you travel home today. We look forward to welcoming you home and hearing much more about the trip in the weeks to come.