Saturday, July 2, 2016

Crew 4

Crew 3: Team Hashtag 

Our crew has been working at Heather Holley's house this week. Each day we are greeted by Heather's youngest daughter Lilly, and their dog Lucy. 

 Heather and her husband Robert, along with their two children Julie and Henry were home when the F5 tornado hit in 2011. After hearing the sirens, they ran into their bathroom and got into the tub. Julie laid over her children and pulled a twin mattress over them while Robert sat outside the tub and held onto Heather's leg, and the doorknob to the bathroom door. 
After a few minutes there was a lul in the storm. They thought it was over. But it was just they eye of the tornado. The wind picked up again and it was loud and dark. Heather spoke of the fear of not being able to tell her children that it was going to be ok. but God protected them. When the storm settled, this door was the only thing between them and the rubble. 
Their house was completely destroyed.  They could see the watertower that was 5 miles away through the studs of their walls. 
Heather and her family ended up purchasing a home that was about a mile away. They only needed to replace the windows and the roof to make it livable. 

We had two jobs this week. Siding and drywall.  In the backyard we removed siding that was ruined from tornado storms, and replaced it with new siding. 

Taking off the old siding 

Putting on new siding. 

It was hard cutting the new vinyl siding! 

Inside we worked on repairing crack in the drywall. It was on the ceiling upstairs above the stairwell. 
Our firsts task was to remove the cracked drywall. 

But once we removed the drywall we found that the framing around the chimney was rotted out. So we had to remove and replace the moldy wood and insulation. So that put us back a few days. But we were able to work together to complete the project. 

On the last day, the leaders stayed back after working hours to finish the siding on the shed. Although it started down pouring rain, we were able finish it! 

All in all it was a great week at Heathers! We loved using our hands (man veins) and hard hats to serve the Holley family! 

Guest Post: Yoon from Crew 8

Crew 8: Wildcats (get your head in the game!)

Under the wise and strong leadership of Next Step Ministry leader Ian (pronounced eye on), our group was assigned with the task of tearing down an old, rotting shed and building a brand new shed for a member of the Joplin community. 

Miss Betty is an elderly individual in her 80s who is wheelchair bound and requires assistance with her activities of daily living. When we first met Betty, she rolled up to us in her wheelchair and greeted us with a warm, hearty smile that melted our hearts. We introduced ourselves to Betty and set off to begin our work. 

We started off by carefully removing pieces of the old shed and preparing the blueprints for the new shed. Demolition proved to be an easy task, but leveling the ground was time consuming and meticulous. After preparing the groundwork, we set the foundation woodwork for the floor. The students were eager to get their hands on various tasks, such as hammering nails into the studs, cutting boards, and raising the walls of the new shed. 

On several occasions, we were treated to slushies, cupcakes and a delicious lunch set up by Miss Betty's caretaker, Pamela and her daughter Melanie. Betty thanked us every time she joined us and always offered us a pitcher of ice cold sweet tea. If I had to describe Miss Betty in one word, I would say "sincere". She spoke with a soft but firm voice, and her presence was comforting. Although she was physically limited, her words and heart reached out to each and every one of us.

We have made great progress on the new shed so far. The foundation is sturdy, the floorboards are set, and the walls have gone up. Thursday we wrapped up our work and finished by completing a few trusses before leaving our worksite. We went inside to say goodbye to Miss Betty, who was taking a nap. I could see her eyes twinkle as we said our farewells and left the house.

The shed is not complete, but this is not the measure of God's love that was present through the last four days of work. Our crew connected with Miss Betty and her loving presence. We found ourselves growing closer, more intimate, through the grace and mercy of God, who rooted us in his love. Our physical work is temporary, but the relationships formed during this time will remain in our hearts.